7 June 2002

Grants to convert disused buildings

GRANT money is still available to fund the conversion of redundant farm buildings in the region, says the South East England Development Agency.

New money came on stream for the Farm Diversification Grant on Apr 1 and much of it is still up for grabs, said Katie Lloyd SEEDA regeneration assistant.

"You can apply for up to 25% of eligible costs for conversion of redundant farm buildings," she said. "The minimum grant is £2500 and the maximum is £62,500 and that is for conversion into B&Bs, self-catering lets, offices and tea rooms."

To qualify premises must be either completely unused, or unusable in their current state for the purpose for which they are now needed. Applications can only be considered from farmers who can demonstrate their principal source of income is from farming operations and who plan to farm for at least another five years.

The scheme was started in May 2000 as a one-year pilot scheme but is being run again because at that time it was heavily oversubscribed.

Details and application forms from Katie Lloyd or Malcolm Rowe on 01634-899900. &#42