With the Small Grant Scheme opening in early February, and a tight application window ending at noon on 14th March 2018, if you are considering buying smaller pieces of equipment for your farm and are hoping to receive some of the grant funding, you should apply as soon as possible. Many farmers at this time of year look to buy equipment in spring. If you are looking at this, but also want to apply for the above grants for the same equipment, then caution is needed. Applicants must apply by 14th March, and will be notified via email if the application is successful. If you are successful, the equipment can only be bought after the grant funding is offered. For tax purposes, the equipment must be delivered by the end of the financial year you are hoping claim tax relief in, hence delivery will need to be factored in. This could mean that the equipment will get tax relief in the 2018/19 tax year rather than 2017/18.

It should be noted that once an application has had email confirmation that the grant is successful, you can either accept the grant offer, buy and pay for the equipment within 150 days, and claim the grant funding, or alternatively if circumstances change, you can notify RPA that you no longer require the grant offer. Note again, you should not buy the equipment before the grant offer email arrives. If you no longer require the grant funding, you should tell RPA as soon as possible, as failure to do so may bar you from further grant applications. Evidence of purchase and invoice payment are also required, and hire purchase is not permitted.

The type of equipment eligible for grant funding is dependent on the type of farming, however, the list is reasonably substantial. The full guidance is available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/countryside-productivity-scheme#small-grants. The funding is 40% (Cornwall & Isles of Scilly 50%), with a minimum of £3,000, maximum £12,000, meaning equipment cost of £7,500 to £30,000, with the grant being based on standardised costs.

Generally, examples of the funding available are for;-

Cattle – handling facilities, weighing, auto shedding, calving/heat detectors, hoof care, cluster flushing, automatic feeders, specialised troughs, cow brushes, milk dispensers.

Sheep – handling facilities, weigh scales with EID compatibility.

Pigs – handling facilities, weigh scales with electronic data system compatibility, creeps and heat mats.

General – GPS, EID readers and tools, yield mapping and measuring, GPS and flow meters, slurry application, heat recovery systems, cover crop seed drills, automatic silage pushers and scrapers, humidity and grain conditioners, weather stations, wireless and optical networking systems.

If you would like to discuss any of the above in more detail, or need any assistance with the application, please don’t hesitate in contacting any of our farming team or your usual Saint & Co contact. Our office contact details are available on www.saint.co.uk