The department for environment, food and rural affairs (Defra) is now inviting applications for grants of up to £25,000 to enable businesses to buy new machinery and develop green projects. The grants total £40 million and arise from the second round of the Rural Community Broadband Fund and the publication of guidance to a second wave of applicants to the Farming and Forestry Improvement Scheme.
Grants of between £2,500 and £25,000 will cover 40% of the total cost of projects, with up to 50% funding available for projects in upland areas.
UHY Hacker Young are urging farmers and rural businesses to take advantage of a second round of grant funding to boost their businesses. Tim Maris, head of our rural and agriculture sector at our Royston office comments: “Those who missed out on the initial round of grants are being given another chance to apply for significant grants which will make a major difference to how they run their businesses. Farmers and rural businesses need all the help they can get in the current economic climate, and this is not an opportunity to be missed.”
The Farming and Forestry Improvement Scheme will fund new profit-boosting green schemes that:
• save energy and reduce carbon emissions,
• reduce dependence on artificial fertilizers through better use of manures,
• improve soil quality,
• improve animal health and welfare,
• save and recycle water, and
• promote woodland management by processing timber more efficiently.
The project will also enable whole communities in remote areas to get superfast broadband which will help transform their businesses and the wider community.
The Farming and Forestry Improvement Scheme went live on May 22 and closes on July 17.