Warwickshire Rural Hub
Henry Plumb Foundation opens its grant programme
The Henry Plumb Foundation funds young people (18-35) with interests, business ideas and study plans that will lead to a career in the agricultural or food industry. Funding ranges from £500 – £3,000. These could take the form of:
- Business start ups
- Overseas exchanges
- Management courses
Visit this page for full information. The closing date for applications is Friday 6 March 2020. Interviews take place on 29 April.
Grant for feasibility of food production solutions to help achieve net zero emissions
Up to £15 million of grant funding is available through the Transforming Food Production Science and Technology into Practice programme for feasibility study projects (£5 million) and demonstration projects (£10 million) which offer precision solutions to transform food production, have the potential to improve productivity and sustainability and could contribute to the target of net zero emissions from agriculture by 2040. Total eligible costs must be between £75,000 and £250,000.
Closing date for applications is mid-day on 26 February 2020. Full details on how to apply can be found here.
Farming Recovery Fund available in some parts of Worcestershire
The second phase of the Farming Recovery Fund is now open for applications and farmers in parts of Worcestershire are now eligible. The Fund is to help those farmers who have been affected by the ‘impact’ of flooding. In this case, the ‘impact’ could include the following:
- Access to your agricultural land or farm buildings is cut off;
- Areas of your agricultural land no longer being stock proof;
- Debris on your agricultural land;
- Damage to riverbanks on the field edge;
- Impact on any of the items or activities listed in tables 1, 2 and 3.
The money will go towards the costs of reinstating and repairing the affected agricultural land as quickly as possible. Only certain items and activities are eligible for funding as set out in the Handbook. The minimum grant available is £500 and the maximum is £25,000. The guidance and application form can be found here.
£3 billion of support for farmers announced
The Chancellor has confirmed nearly £3 billion of funding for 2020 to support farmers once the UK leaves the EU. The cash injection will maintain the level of funding for Direct Payments at the same rate as last year. Sajid Javid confirmed the cash will be used to support farmers once the UK leaves the EU. The UK will leave the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Direct Payments scheme, which supports farmers across Europe with subsidies in 2020. This will be replaced by a new system based on public money for public goods. The cash injection will allow the funding for Direct Payments for 2020 to continue at the same level as 2019 and supplement the remaining EU funding that farmers will receive for development projects until 2023 at the latest. The government will guarantee the current annual budget to farmers in every year of the Parliament.
Next closing date for HS2 Woodland Fund
The next application assessment deadline for the HS2 Woodland Fund is Friday 24 January 2020. Applying before then means you could have your woodland creation or PAWS restoration agreement in place by spring or early summer 2020, in plenty of time for planting next winter.
Funding available for rural business start ups
Forest Holidays and The Prince’s Countryside Fund have teamed up to create The Rural Start-Up Fund, an exciting opportunity for rural businesses to receive financial support as they embark on a new business venture. A total of £5,000 is available in the Rural Start-Up Fund in 2020, to be awarded to one winning business or shared between a number of rural start-ups. In addition, as part of the Rural Start-Up Fund, the successful applicant(s) will receive mentoring support from a relevant expert in the Forest Holidays team to further guide and support them.
Applications are now open and close on 6 March 2020. Visit this page for full information on how to apply.
Bursary for students at RAC and Reading University studying agriculture
The Jordans and The Prince’s Countryside Fund Sustainable Agriculture Bursary aims to support undergraduate students to pursue their interest in sustainable agriculture and farming practices. Students must fulfil the following criteria:
- Must be aged between 18 – 35
- Have a conditional or unconditional offer for either an agricultural degree at the Royal Agricultural University or a degree at the University of Reading’s School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, starting in September 2020
- Either the Royal Agricultural University or the University of Reading must be your first choice university
- All applicants must live in the UK
- Have a genuine and demonstrable interest in sustainable agriculture
Successful applicants will receive a £3,000 cash award in their first year and a further £1,000 in both their second and third year of study, to support their academic studies and help to further their interest in and knowledge of sustainable agricultural practice. The closing dates is 29 May 2020. Further information can be viewed on this page.
Flooding and agri-environment schemes
The Rural Payments Agency has been asked to consider recent heavy rain and flooding as ‘force majeure’ for farmers in agri-environment schemes. Agreement holders are urged to contact the RPA if they are prevented from complying with their scheme obligations as a result of continued weather pressures..
Woodland Carbon Guarantee scheme is launched
The Woodland Carbon Guarantee (WCaG) is a £50 million scheme that aims to help accelerate woodland planting rates and develop the domestic market for woodland carbon for the permanent removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Unlike most existing woodland creation support mechanisms the WCaG is not a grant or a fund and it does not contribute towards the cost of planning, establishment or early maintenance.
Woodland creation projects accepted into the Woodland Carbon Guarantee have the option to sell WCUs to the government every 5 or 10 years up to 2055/56. The government will buy the WCUs for an agreed guaranteed price that is index-linked for the life of the contract. You can still choose to sell the carbon credits on the open market at any time. For further information please visit this page.
RPA confirms BPS 2019 entitlement values and greening rates
The Rural Payments Agency has published the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) entitlement values and greening rates. This follows the confirmation of the BPS exchange rate for this year’s payments, which will start landing in bank accounts in December. Under BPS, farmers need to hold an entitlement for every hectare of eligible land they are claiming on. The size of farmers’ payments will depend on how many entitlements they use, supported by eligible land and the value of those entitlements. The greening part of payments has been calculated by taking the number of entitlements farmers have used with eligible land to claim payment, and multiplying it by the greening value.
For further information please visit this page.
RDPE Growth Programme opens for expressions of interest
The Business Development, Food Processing and Rural Tourism Infrastructure grants are now open to new applications. You must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) form before midnight on 16 February 2020.
You could be eligible for a Growth Programme grant if your business is carrying out a project to create jobs or bring more money into the rural economy.
There are 3 types of grant:
- Business development
- Food processing
- Rural tourism infrastructure
For further information on how to apply for a grant please visit this page.
STEPS Scheme re-opens on 1 Nov for Bourne and Blythe catchments
After our record number of applications last year, the STEPS grant scheme re-opens for applications from 1st November 2019 to 31st January 2020. Up to £5000/ farm is available to farmers in our priority catchment areas to improve water quality and biodiversity. Applicants must take part in the Farm to Tap scheme (if applicable) to be eligible for STEPS grant funding.
For more information contact Una McBride: 078 11847161 or Marion Perrett-Pearson: 079 70944834 or visit this page.
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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Warwickshire Rural Hub Chairman
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The Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC
c/o Pleasance Farm
Registration No: 7026157
Registered office: 23 West Bar Street, Banbury, OX16 9SA
Rural Hub Co-ordinator
Tel: 07780 159291
Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC Directors
Henry Lucas (Hub Chairman)
Graham Collier (Hub Deputy Chairman)
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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