What can you apply for?

If you are a private forest holder (more than 10 hectares) or a small/medium sized forestry contractor and based in England, you should look at the guidance on the above grant scheme if you are thinking of expanding or renewing equipment. The grants cover up to 40% of the costs, with a minimum grant of £35,000 (maximum £1,000,000). The guidance is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/641319/Improving_Forestry_Productivity_handbook_v1.1.pdf

The grants are aimed at investment in equipment, adding value to felled timber and working collaboratively, with priorities being to improve productivity, grow a business, encourage collaboration and to create higher value products.

The costs eligible for the grant funding are reasonably extensive, however, below is a summary of the different equipment types;-

Initial harvesting – harvesters, forwarders, trailers, cranes, grabs, winches, skylines.

Processing – chippers, trommels, firewood processors, log splitters, covered processing areas, woodchip stores, fencing material creation equipment and preservative application equipment.

How do I apply?

If you are considering applying, you should read all the guidance, and be aware that the equipment must be owned out right before a grant is paid. If you apply, and are notified that your application is successful, only then should you order the equipment. The RPA will look at varying financial assurances that the equipment can be paid for, including the last three years accounts, and only once paid in full will a grant be paid. The application form can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/countryside-productivity-scheme#improving-forestry-productivity

The deadline for applications to this scheme is 3 April 2018, and the RPA suggest you should aim for all the work/equipment to be bought/paid for by 31 March 2019. The very final date to claim the grant is 15 January 2020.

If you would like to discuss any of the above with us, or need any help on the application, then please do not hesitate in contacting our agricultural and forestry team throughout Cumbria and South West Scotland, or Will Robinson at our Carlisle Office 01228 534371 wr@saint.co.uk