Scottish Farm Grants – Small Farms Grants and New Entrants Capital Grants Scheme

Scottish farming grants currently available include the above two grants. It is recommended that anyone thinking of applying for the scheme should read the full guidance, which is available at

Small Farms Grants

As such, a small farm is defined as between 3 and 30 hectares (7.4 to 74 acres) and the funding for this grant is up to £25,000. The general aim of the grant is to improve stock control, prevent crop damage by deer, improve conditions for out wintered stock, store winter fodder and improve grassland management. The grant is open to owner occupiers, tenants with more than 3 years remaining on their tenancy and landlords where the tenancy has less than 3 years remaining. Owners who issue grazing licences are not deemed to have eligible tenancies for these grant schemes. If a sole trader, the gross income threshold is £30,700, couples being £41,000, and evidence, being the latest P60 from employment, and/or last accounts must be provided.

New Entrants Capital Grants Scheme

New Entrants Capital Grants Scheme is aimed at new farmers, who must apply within 5 years of commencing farming, and they must be head of holding, carrying out an eligible agricultural activity on the holding. If applying for these grants, you can not apply for another grant in relation to the same project. In general, up to 90% if a group, 80% if an individual, of a project cost could be funded by the grant, if you qualify as a young farmer and farm LFA land. With non LFA land, up to 60% of the project could be funded, again if qualifying as a young farmer.

Although covering some points above, the full scheme guidance is too lengthy to write here, however, the project costs can cover-

  • Erection and improvements to permanent buildings to house out wintered stock
  • Works in relation to yards and silos (excluding grain silos)
  • Slurry and muck storage (SEPA will need involved)
  • Field and hill drainage, including ditches
  • Out wintered stock hard feed areas, including fixed barriers/troughs and concrete
  • Stock handling improvements
  • Shelter belts and utilities improvements and provision
  • Access tracks to land improvement areas

For reference, a suggested minimum building size is 5 x 6m, with a suggested appropriate size of 9 x 14m. This could be increased if you can demonstrate you would require bigger, should you have only cattle, this size would no doubt need increased.

Quotes for works, together with supporting documents will need provided when applying and claiming a grant and failure to do so may revoke the grant offer, so care is needed here. Any works that are hoped to be partially funded by a grant should not be started before a grant offer is awarded. Once a grant is approved, an authority to proceed letter is sent out, together with a claim form. Your local area office will also be involved, and may make site visits to ensure you have done work in line with the application.

How do I apply?

The electronic application form for the Small Grants Scheme or New Entrants Capital Grants Scheme is available at—sfgs-necgs-application-form/

To be able to apply, your business must be registered with the Scottish Government Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS). A link to them is

Should you wish to discuss your project in more detail, our farming team will be happy to help. Will Robinson in Carlisle can be contacted on 01228 534371 or email , or alternatively you could contact a land agent who will be able to assist.

Farming – RDPE Countryside Productivity Scheme Grants – deadline fast approaching

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 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