Warwickshire Rural Hub
CS capital agreement extension
The Rural Payments Agency has announced they will be offering a one-year extension to all capital agreements starting after 1 April 2018 or in 2019. This includes Hedgerows and Boundaries, Woodland Creation, Woodland Tree Health, Woodland Management Plan, PA1, PA2 and PA3, Water Capital and Historic Restoration Grants. The one year extension does not apply to 2020 agreements. Letters to affected agreement holders will be issued in the coming days explaining the one-year extension.
£2m of funding for SMEs with cash flow issues due to coronavirus
The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership has agreed to contribute up to £2 million of funding to help SMEs in Coventry and Warwickshire suffering with cash flow as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. The package of support also includes the continuation of the ‘The Duplex Investment Fund’, which was set up to help with investment and growth in the local economy through a grant and loan scheme. SMEs in Coventry and Warwickshire will be able to apply for funding from Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust (CWRT), who are delivering the scheme through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan that is due to expire at the end of September 2020. The funding will be available to local businesses who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cashflow due to the impact of Covid-19. There will be flexible repayment terms and it will be interest-free for the first 12 months. For more information and to check your eligibility, please visit https://www.cwrt.uk.com/cbils-eligibility
Countryside Stewardship – more time to complete capital works
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) have confirmed that they will be offering all Countryside Stewardship customers, whose agreements started between 1 April 2018 and 31 December 2019, an additional 12 months to complete and claim for any capital works that remain to be finished. This includes the Woodland Creation, Woodland Tree health and Woodland Management Planning Grants.
Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust loan scheme for smaller businesses
- Be Coventry and Warwickshire based in its business activity, with turnover of no more than £45m per year.
- Need to borrow between £50,001 – £100,000
- Have a borrowing proposal which, were it not for the current pandemic, would be considered viable by the lender.
- Self-certify that it has been adversely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
To apply for a loan please visit this page.
Changes to coronavirus job retention scheme
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will close on 31 October 2020. From 1 July, employers can bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim CJRS grant for the hours not worked. From 1 August 2020, the level of grant will be reduced each month. To be eligible for the grant employers must pay furloughed employees 80% of their wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month for the time they are being furloughed. Full information is available on this page.
NFU flow chart for business support packages
NFU has produced an online questionnaire to help you navigate through the various Covid-19 business support measures that have been made available by government. Please note, this is not an exhaustive list but captures the support measures that are most relevant for NFU members. There are many support options available, therefore it is advised that you review the flow chart diagram in full for an overall picture. More details on NFU Online.
Defra reveals plans for farmer-centric R and D funding
Defra recently shared its plans for research and development funding from 2022 at a Cereals 2020 online webinar. Dr Kate Pressland of Innovative Farmers says that the funding will have three strands:
- Strand 1 looks to be supporting short term, small scale farmer-led projects, not too dissimilar to field labs. They will be limited in scope, and it is not yet clear if groups of farmers can work together on a problem like they do in field labs, but the funding sounds to be quite targeted and flexible to the needs of the farm.
- Strand 2 are for longer term and larger scale projects, probably linking large agribusinesses together with researchers, investigating current problems. It sounds collaborative but definitely a step removed from farmer-led research.
- Strand 3 will be for more strategic, transformational or incremental research looking ahead to solutions affecting us in 10 to 30 years time. Defra promise this will still be collaborative.
Funding available from the Woodland Trust for large scale tree and hedge planting
Woodland Trust has funding available for farmers aiming to plant over 500 trees on at least half an acre and plant over 100 metres of new hedge which allows a large tree to grow every 6 metres. Applications for the 2020/21 planting season are now invited. Visit this page for further information.
Innovative new start-ups can benefit from £40m fund
Innovative businesses and start-ups are set to benefit from a £40 million government investment to drive forward new technological advances. The competition aims to fast-track the development of innovations borne out of the coronavirus crisis while supporting the UK’s next generation of cutting-edge start-ups – helping to build the businesses of tomorrow and propel their future prosperity. Among the successful projects to receive the funding to date, is a virtual-reality surgical training simulator and an online farmers’ market platform. Read more here.
£500 million Future Fund for high-growth businesses
UK-based companies can now apply for a convertible loan of between £125,000 and £5 million, to support continued growth and innovation in sectors as diverse as technology, life sciences and the creative industries. Private investors – potentially including venture capital funds, angel investors and those backed by regional funds – will at least match the government investment in these companies. These convertible loans may be a suitable option for businesses that typically rely on equity investment and are unable to access other government business support programmes because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit. Further information is available on this page.
Coronavirus sick pay rebate scheme opens 26 May
The scheme will enable employers with fewer than 250 employees to claim coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid to current or former employees. The online service will be available from 26 May 2020. You can use the scheme if:
- you’re claiming for an employee who’s eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus
- you have a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020
- you had fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020
The repayment will cover up to two weeks of the applicable rate of SSP, and is payable if a current or former employee was unable to work on or after 13 March 2020 and entitled to SSP, because they:
- have coronavirus
- are self-isolating and unable to work from home
- are shielding because they’ve been advised that they’re at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus
For more information & to apply CLICK HERE
Check if you can claim the self employed income support grant
If you’re self-employed or a member of a partnership and your trading has been adversely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) the government has announced a grant scheme to support your income. The scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant of 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 altogether. This is a temporary scheme, but it may be extended. Visit this page to check who can claim for the grant.
Coventry and Warwickshire Green Business Programme
Do you want to save money on your energy bills and the make the most of low carbon opportunities? The Green Business programme can help you identify energy savings and support the development of new low carbon products and technologies. For further information visit this page.
Coventry and Warwickshire Innovation Programme
Supporting the development of new innovative products and technologies for SMEs, the programme provides a range of assistance including one-to-one support, networking and access to grants of up to £100,000. Visit this page for further information.
Coventry and Warwickshire Business Support Programme
A free service comprising one-to-one or group support targeted at new businesses, or established businesses with under 250 employees who want to grow. Visit this page for further information.
Gigabit Voucher Scheme for small and medium sized businesses
If you are a small or medium-sized business, you may be able to get a grant of up to £3,000 to upgrade your business broadband to a Gigabit capable connection. Details of approved suppliers can be found at the link below.
HS2 Woodland Fund
The HS2 Woodland Fund provides grant payments for restoring plantations on ancient woodland sites (PAWS) and/or creating new native woodland. Funding is available for a range of capital items, paying 100% of the associated standard cost, with a maintenance payment also available for woodland creation. £1 million of funding is due to open for applications in January 2018 and will close in April 2020, subject to remaining budget availability. There are no application windows.
Further information is available on the website below.
Change to Woodland Creation threshold
The threshold for applications to the Woodland Creation Planning Grant has been lowered to 10 hectares. At least one woodland block within an application must be of 10 ha or more in size, with additional blocks being at least 5 ha in size. This means that if your application is less than 15 ha in total, it must be formed of a single woodland block. Visit the website below for more information.
Updates to digital maps
The RPA is currently updating digital maps and will use this latest mapping data when calculating BPS 2017 payments. Claimants of Environmental / Countryside Stewardship and Forestry Legacy Schemes may need to review the changes to make sure their applications and/ or agreements are correct.
Natural England refreshes its livestock recording templates
Natural England has updated the templates for recording livestock to make them more user friendly. Therefore the webpage has been refreshed. Specific livestock record keeping applies to CS and ELS/HLS agreements that started on or after 1 January 2013.
CFE advises voluntary maintenance of expiring environmental schemes
The Campaign for the Farmed Environment is encouraging farmers who are in Environmental Stewardship schemes to voluntarily maintain conservation work when the scheme has expired. Voluntary management may assist such farmers to benefit from any future schemes, post Brexit, and returning such land to production will undo the investment of time and money already made, says CFE.
Fully funded training to invest in your workforce
Would you like the opportunity improve your staff productivity, increase staff morale and receive support from professionals who will help you grow your business?
Inspire 2 Independence is working in partnership with Serco on the delivery of Skills Support for the Workforce across Coventry & Warwickshire. The funding is available to local businesses within Coventry & Warwickshire with 100% funding of a range of units and qualifications aimed at up-skilling your workforce. No financial contribution is required from your business to access this training opportunity, all that is required is a commitment to the development of your staff.
For further information please contact your i2i representative today.
New form to raise BPS issues
The RPA has developed a new way to deal with cases of unreported BPS 2015 / 2016 payment issues, which includes an enquiry form for farmers to complete and send to the RPA.
For further information and to download a copy of the form please use the link below.
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The Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC
c/o Pleasance Farm, Kenilworth
Warwickshire, CV8 1PR
Tel: 07780 159291
Company Registration No: 7026157
Registered office: 23 West Bar Street, Banbury, OX16 9SA
Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC Directors
Henry Lucas (Chair)
Graham Collier (Deputy Chair)
Hub Steering Group Members
George Bostock, NFU
Mark Dickin, Ellacotts Accountants
Tom Newbery, Highfield Farm
Alexandra Robinson, Wright Hassall LLP
Matt Willmott, King's Seeds
Jon Slee, Abbey Farm
Andrew Cook, Farmer
Emlyn Evans, Squab Hall
The Warwickshire Rural Hub accepts no liability for any direct, indirect or consequential loss arising from any action taken in reliance on the information contained on this website.
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