Almost 900 Expressions of Interest have been received by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs for the second tranche of Tier 2 of the Farm Business Improvement Scheme - Capital (FBIS-C).
Invitations to information and training events on the second tranche of Tier 2 of the Farm Business Improvement Scheme - Capital (FBIS-C) will issue shortly, ahead of the scheme opening for applications in October.
Welcoming the high interest in the Scheme, Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots MLA said: “I am delighted by the response to the Expression of Interest stage for Tier 2 FBIS-Capital. Almost 900 farmers and growers across all sectors have outlined their plans to make a significant investment to transform their business.
“In order to assist with developing those proposals, my Department will shortly issue invitations to online information and training events. I would encourage all potential applicants to participate in these events, ahead of making an application to what will be a highly competitive scheme.”
This tranche of Tier 2, worth up to £12million, will support transformational investment in on-farm projects costing in excess of £30,000. Funding is provided at a grant rate of 40% of eligible costs, with £250,000 the maximum grant available under the FBIS-Capital scheme.
Only those farm businesses which submitted an Expression of Interest will be eligible to submit a full application for Tier 2 tranche 2 when it opens, and will now be invited to information and training webinars.
Successful applicants under Tier 2 tranche 2 will have a maximum of one year to complete their project. The information and training events will provide an overview of the full application stage for Tier 2 tranche 2, along with specific events on the required business plan and cashflow information.
Notes to editors:
1. The Expression of Interest form sought information on the type of investment planned, approximate total costs and potential time for completion.
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.
3. Tier 2 is for projects costing from £30,000 - unlimited (within the overall maximum grant limit of £250,000 available under the NI Rural Development Programme 2014-20) and is primarily for construction projects and the purchase of higher value equipment linked to the needs in the farmer’s business plan.
4. Training events for Tier 2, Tranche 2 of the FBIS – Capital Scheme will be held online, and will be supplemented by online resources, which will be available for applicants to refer to during the period for making applications.
5. Only those who have completed an Expression of Interest are eligible to make a full application to FBIS-Capital Tier 2 tranche 2. A number of EOI received were duplicates and/or for proposals which would be ineligible under the scheme rules. The Department is continuing to carry out administrative checks on the EOI received.
6. In some cases, EOI have been submitted for projects which would be ineligible for grant support under FBIS-Capital e.g. they are not connected with primary production. Letters will be issued to notify those applicants who had submitted ineligible EOI.
7. A further announcement to launch the application stage will be made in October.
8. Applicants to Tier 2 will be required to submit a separate robust, viable and sustainable business plan as part of their full application, which shows that they have carefully planned their investment and what difference the proposed project will make in transforming their farm into a more sustainable, efficient and safer business.
9. All projects which involve construction or renovation of buildings will require planning permission or a certificate of lawful to be in place before a full application is submitted.
10. Advice on the application process for Tier 2 applications to Tranche 2 of the FBIS – Capital Scheme is available on the DAERA website.
11. It is envisaged that the second Tranche of Tier 2 of FBIS-Capital will have a budget of £12million, subject to budget availability.
12. Any further capital support under Tier 2 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.
14. All media enquiries to DAERA Press Office via email email@example.com.
15. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hour’s service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
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