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.

Introduction to the Scheme

The Capital Scheme has two separate tiers – Tier 1 and Tier 2.

Tier 1 includes on-farm investment projects from £5,000 to a maximum of £30,000 project costs, and is aimed primarily at encouraging farmers to invest in equipment and machinery that will improve the sustainability of their businesses (i.e. environmental performance, health and safety, animal health and welfare).

The grant rate of funding for both tiers in the Scheme is up to 40% of eligible costs. 

Tier 1

Please note that Tranche 3 of Tier 1 closed for applications on 4 December 2020.

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.

Tier 2

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

Tier 2 provides for on-farm investment projects in excess of £30,000 project costs (to a maximum available grant of £250,000) based on a robust farm business plan. Its focus is to drive transformational capital investment in assisted farm businesses.

Whilst a date has not yet been confirmed for opening a second tranche of Tier 2, The Department is  keeping this under review.

Any further capital support will take into account any further guidance developed by the Department on ammonia reduction and mitigation, and would be subject to funding availability.  DAERA is working to develop a comprehensive and proportionate package of measures on ammonia and hope to consult on a strategy later this year.

Guidance for potential applicants will be published, if and when the opening of a second tranche of Tier 2 is 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.

‘Making it Safer’ risk assessment

All applicants to both tiers of the Scheme must complete the FarmSafeNet ‘Making it Safer’ risk 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 developed by the Farm Safety Partnership and it is available at the link below. A certificate will be issued on completion.

Educational Attainment - Level II Eligible Qualifications

A list of agriculture and horticulture qualifications, eligible to attract marks under the 'Educational Attainment' selection criterion for the Farm Business Improvement Scheme (FBIS) – Capital can be found at the link below:

This also details those qualifications that are not eligible to attract marks under the educational attainment selection criterion.


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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