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

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

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.

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.

Tier 2

Please note that Tranche 1 of Tier 2 closed for applications on 10 March 2017

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.

Please note that the date by which associated planning permissions must be obtained for Tier 2 construction projects has been extended beyond 31 May 2017.  An end date for receipt of planning permission approvals for Tier 2, Tranche 1 applications will soon be confirmed.

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.

Further information on ineligible items

Additional information

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

Questions and answers

FBIS Capital Scheme questions and answers are available 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 at the link below:

‘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 at the link below. 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 at the link below:


If you have a query or wish to contact us about the Farm Business Improvement Scheme – Capital Scheme, please follow the instructions at the link below:

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