Poots announces £12m scheme for farmers and growers

Date published: 09 December 2021

Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots has announced that Tier 2 of the Farm Business Improvement Scheme - Capital (FBIS-C) will open for applications on 10 January 2022.

DAERA Minister Edwin Poots MLA pictured with Paul Smyth - Director, Greenhill Systems in Ballymena.

The funding for farmers and growers will provide transformational investment in on-farm projects costing in excess of £30,000.

Speaking at the RUAS Winter Fair, Minister Poots said: “I am delighted to announce the re-opening of Tier 2 FBIS Capital. The focus of this multi-million pound fund is on larger-scale investment to encourage a step change in the agriculture and horticulture sectors.

“We want to drive transformational investment in future proofed, fit-for-purpose, modern infrastructure and equipment, guided by a robust business planning process within assisted farms.

“I will be inviting those farmers and growers who submitted an Expression of Interest and who are ready to make a significant investment to transform their business to come forward with their application to the scheme when it opens on 10 January 2022.

I would encourage all applicants to familiarise themselves with guidance which will be available online when the scheme opens, ahead of making an application to what will be a highly competitive scheme. My Department will also hold further online information sessions while the scheme is open” he added.

There was a significant number of Expressions of Interest in this tranche of Tier 2 FBIS – Capital, which were used to explore the type of investment planned, approximate total costs and potential time for completion.

DAERA held online information events in October for potential applicants to the scheme, which will provide a grant rate of 40% of eligible costs, with £250,000 the maximum grant available.

Only those farm businesses which submitted an Expression of Interest will be eligible to submit a full application for Tier 2 tranche 2 by the application closing date, 4pm on 1 April 2022.

Applicants 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.

All projects which involve construction or extension of buildings will require planning permission or a certificate of lawfulness to be in place before a full application to the scheme is submitted.

Successful applicants under Tier 2 tranche 2 will have a maximum of one year to complete their project.

Further information on the FBIS-C Tier 2 is available on the DAERA website at https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/articles/farm-business-improvement-scheme

Notes to editors: 

1. 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.

2. Training events for Tier 2, Tranche 2 of the FBIS – Capital Scheme were held online, and will be supplemented by online resources, which will be available for applicants to refer to during the period for making applications. Further online information sessions will be held during the application stage, to further assist applicants. 

3. Advice on the application process for Tier 2 applications to Tranche 2 of the FBIS – Capital Scheme is available on the DAERA website. Full details will be available when the scheme opens on 10 January 2022. The scheme will be open for 12 weeks, until 4pm on 1 April 2022.

4. It is envisaged that the second Tranche of Tier 2 of FBIS-Capital will have a budget of £12million, subject to budget availability.

5. Support under Tier 2 Tranche 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 soon.

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7. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office: pressoffice.group@daera-ni.gov.uk The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours 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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