Farm Business Improvement Scheme - Capital Scheme

The Farm Business Improvement Scheme (FBIS) is a package of measures aimed at improving the competitiveness and sustainability of the farming sector. FBIS is an important part of the Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014 to 2020 and is being rolled out in a phased way.

The FBIS Capital Scheme opened on 31 October 2016.

Introduction to the Scheme

The Capital Scheme has two separate tiers – Tier 1 and Tier 2. The grant rate of funding for both tiers in the Scheme is 40% of eligible costs. Two tranches of the Scheme are planned in the initial phase.  The second tranche is planned for autumn 2017. 

Tier 1

The objective of Tier 1 is to improve the sustainability of farms in Northern Ireland.  It will provide support for farmers and growers to invest in equipment and machinery that will help realise improvements in efficiency, environmental practice, animal health and welfare, and health and safety, associated with modern farming practices.

Tier 1 is for projects costing from £5,000 - £30,000 (eligible costs) and is primarily aimed at the purchase of off the shelf equipment and machinery.

To find out more about Tier 1, click here.

Please note that Tranche 1 of Tier 1 closed for applications on 16 December 2016

Reference priced list of eligible items

In completing the application form you will have to select items from a reference priced list of eligible items available here.

Tier 2

The focus of Tier 2 is on larger scale investment to encourage a step change in the agriculture and horticulture sectors, and to drive transformational investment in future proofed, fit for purpose, modern infrastructure and equipment, guided by a robust business planning process within assisted farms.

Tier 2 is for projects costing from £30,000 - unlimited (with £250,000 maximum grant) and is primarily for construction projects and the purchase of higher value equipment linked to the needs in the farmer’s business plan.

Business Plan Training

A training programme is now available for farmers and growers applying for Tier 2 of the Farm Business Improvement Scheme – Capital in Tranche 1. The business plan training on offer will enable participants to complete the Business Plan element of their application. Training will consist of two sessions focusing on the Business Plan Narrative and Cash Flow Calculator Tool respectively.

Applicants are not required to complete this training but it would be recommended.

Courses will be delivered at CAFRE campuses and must be pre-booked. Register your place for business plan training here:

FBIS-Capital Business Plan Training

To find out more about Tier 2 and how to apply click here.

Ineligible items/projects

Some items/areas will be ineligible for grant support through the Capital Scheme, such as: 

  • like for like replacement or maintenance;
  • consumables such as feed, fuel or spray;
  • investments relating to non-agricultural animals and
  • items that meet existing statutory requirements such as minimum slurry storage.

For more information on ineligible items click here.

Additional information

Additional information will be placed on the DAERA website as it becomes available.

Frequently asked questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are available here and will be updated regularly.

Government Gateway login details

You will need a Government Gateway ID to access some of the DAERA online services.  If you do not already have one, guidance on how to apply for a Government Gateway ID to access DAERA online services is available here.

‘Making it Safer’ self assessment

All applicants to both tiers of the Scheme must complete the ‘Making it Safer’ self assessment certificate where the applicant will be required to answer questions relating to their own farm on Slurry, Animals, Falls and Equipment (SAFE).

This is an online tool and it is available here. A certificate will be issued on completion.

Educational Attainment - Level II Eligible Qualifications

A list of eligible qualifications under the 'Educational Attainment' selection criterion for the Farm Business Improvement Scheme (FBIS) – Capital Scheme can be found here.


If you have a query or wish to contact us about the Farm Business Improvement Scheme – Capital Scheme click here.

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