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& Safety

Warwickshire Rural Hub


Bursary for students studying agriculture at RAU and Reading University

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 also fulfil the following criteria:​

  • Must be aged between 18 – 35 and live in the UK
  • Have a conditional or unconditional offer for either an undergraduate agricultural degree at the Royal Agricultural University or an undergraduate degree at the University of Reading’s School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, starting in September 2021

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.  Closing date for applications is 29 August. Visit this page for full information.

£2000 grants for importing and exporting advice

The SME Brexit Support Fund could give you up to £2,000 to help with training or professional advice, if your business has up to 500 employees and no more than £100 million annual turnover.  The grant can be used to help you get professional advice so your business can meet its customs, excise, import VAT or safety and security declaration requirements.  Applications will close on 30 June 2021 or earlier if all the money is allocated.  Read more here.

BPS 2021 opens for applications

The deadline for submitting BPS application without penalty is midnight on 17 May 2021. You can submit your application after 17 May until midnight on 11 June but with penalties.  You can apply online using the Rural Payments service.   If you applied last year using a paper form, you will be sent a form for 2021 by the RPA.   If you haven’t received a form by the end of March, please call them on 03000 200 301.  For further information please visit this page.

Severn Trent Boost for Biodiversity 2021

Boost for Biodiversity aims to bring together businesses, councils, community volunteer groups, conservation groups and other organisations in collaboration with Severn Trent to implement projects that will improve habitats for wildlife and provide communities with environmental, economic and social benefits as a result. The grant scheme opens for applications on Monday 15 March and will close Friday 23 April and is open to farmer co-operatives (2 or more farmers) and small landowners.   Severn Trent is looking for projects between 0.5-30ha in size that will create or enhance habitats within their region.   Visit this page to read more about the funding scheme.

Free 1-1 online Countryside Stewardship advice sessions

On behalf of Natural England Chris Seabridge Associates is organising free online one-to-one advice sessions for farmers interested in applying for Countryside Stewardship.  The sessions will cover application preparation advice and pre-application submission advice.  The advice will be delivered by approved Farm Conservation Advisers.  Many of the sessions in Warwickshire will be delivered by Zoe Bell.

To book your place please call Chris Seabridge Associates on 07593 449868 or email

Please provide your name, address, contact telephone number, email address and farm SBI number when getting in touch.   The office will then arrange a suitable appointment.

Book your free online Countryside Stewardship advice event

On behalf of Natural England Chris Seabridge Associates is hosting free online webinars giving information on applications to this year’s Countryside Stewardship scheme.   The presenter will be Jim Egan, Technical Adviser of King’s Crops.

The webinars are taking place on the following dates and times:

Thursday 25th March at 1.00pm – 2.30pm
Tuesday 30th March at 7.00pm – 8.30pm
Monday 12th April at 8.30am – 10.00am
Tuesday 4th May at 2.00pm – 3.30pm
Wednesday 19th May at 7.00pm – 8.30pm

For bookings please call 07593 449868 or email quoting the event you would like to attend. Please provide your name, address, contact telephone number, email address and farm SBI number when booking your session. You will then be emailed the joining details.

Get help with your online presence

More Warwickshire businesses are set to get help with improving their online presence after a successful scheme was extended and is now being offered to more sectors.  The Chamber is working with Stories Marketing to deliver the programme which includes a taster session, two three-hour workshops and one-to-one help.  Independent businesses in retail, hospitality and tourism can benefit from the new programme of workshops and one-to-one support which is being run by Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce on behalf of Warwickshire County Council.  Visit this page to book a session.

£1000 incentive for businesses to invest in apprenticeships

Warwickshire County Council is offering Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) a £1,000 incentive, plus fully funded apprenticeship training to help businesses reshape their workforce to meet the demands presented by Covid-19.   The new Warwickshire Apprenticeship Progression programme – delivered via the Warwickshire Skills Hub and the Coventry and Warwickshire Apprenticeship Provider Network – gives micro businesses and SMEs the support they need to find the right apprenticeships to upskill their workforce.  Through the programme, businesses can progress apprentices by building upon a previous qualification ensuring the skill sets within their business continues to be relevant in a post-pandemic world. The programme offers a £1000 incentive per apprentice with a maximum five apprentices per business.  Visit this page for further information. 

WCC confirm £500K for more Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans

A further £500,000 loan has been approved by Warwickshire County Council to the Coventry and Warwickshire Re-investment Trust (CRWT) to support several more Warwickshire businesses via the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme.  CBILS loans are there to support otherwise viable small businesses who have been unable to secure sufficient (or any) finance from their bank or other mainstream lenders. The CRWT has long supported small businesses and individuals looking to start up, but the pressures caused by the pandemic caused a surged in demand from businesses having cash flow problems.  To find out how to apply for a loan please visit this page.  

New project offers free farm plans for farmers in the Leam catchment

With funding from the Environment Agency, existing partners Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and Severn Rivers Trust are working with Zoe Bell and the Warwickshire Rural Hub to complete a new project in the Leam catchment offering:

free whole farm plans
a webinar programme
a farm cluster group

The whole farm plans will include soil analysis giving recommendations for natural flood management and water improvement measures.  Funding is available for under-sowing maize, leaky dams, attenuation ponds, rainwater harvesting, cover crops and much more.

To book a free and confidential whole-farm plan please contact or telephone her on 07923 220393


Improved Countryside Stewardship scheme is open for applications from 9 February

Following close working with industry, changes have been made to the Countryside Stewardship scheme this year to broaden out the options available and make it easier to apply.    Rural Payments Agency has introduced more functionality to make it easier to apply online, simplified Mid-Tier options to make them easier to understand and changed the focus of Countryside Stewardship inspections for domestic agreements to support the delivery of environmental outcomes, Countryside Stewardship will eventually be replaced with the new Environmental Land Management scheme and by entering an agreement now, farmers will be best-placed to benefit from the new agricultural policy once it is fully rolled out in 2024.   Applications to the scheme opened on 9 February for 2022 agreements.  Please visit this page for full information.

Calculate your BPS payment reductions with the ADHB online tool

The AHDB Direct Payments Calculator tool can be used to view how BPS payment reductions in England, that are due to start in 2021, will impact your farm business. Simply enter your 2019 BPS payment amount and the calculator will display how reductions are likely to look compared to the relative total amount of BPS your business received in 2019. The calculator currently only considers the BPS payment in its current form.  Access the calculator here.

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.

Website: Open Website

HS2 Woodland Fund

You can apply for funding to support native woodland creation or the restoration of Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS) within a 25-mile zone surrounding the HS2 route – currently in Phase One, from London to the West Midlands.

See the HS2WF map (PDF239KB1 page)

The HS2 Woodland Fund (HS2WF) opened on a ‘first come, first served’ basis in February 2018, with an initial budget of £1 million. A further £4 million budget is now available to be allocated to projects until 2022/23.  The fund is open year round, but applications are assessed 4 times per year. View the assessment deadlines for 2020 – 2021.

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.

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A donation to the Rural Hub of any amount is always gratefully received. However, only donations of over £100 can be acknowledged on our Hub Supporter's page.  A donation can be paid by cheque, BACS, standing order or by the Paypal link below.  If you would like our bank details please contact the Co-ordinator on 




Contact Us

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


Hub Chair

Henry Lucas




Jane Hampson

Tel: 07780 159291

Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC Directors

Henry Lucas (Chair)
Graham Collier (Deputy Chair)
Karen Ellis
Carrie Robbins
Alexandra Robinson


Hub Steering Group Members

George Bostock, NFU
Andrew Cook, Farmer
Mark Dickin, Ellacotts Accountants
Emlyn Evans, Squab Hall
Marcus Faulkner, Sheldon Bosley Knight
Tom Newbery, Highfield Farm
Alexandra Robinson, Wright Hassall LLP
Matt Willmott, King's Seeds



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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