BPS helpline hours extended in run-up to 16 May deadline

As the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) deadline draws near, farmers in England and Northern Ireland can access additional support from government helplines.

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) in England and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (Daera) in Northern Ireland have extended the opening hours of their Single Application advisory service helplines to include two weekends in the run-up to the deadline on 16 May.

See also: Advice on payments, schemes and grants

The RPA’s helpline, 03000 200 301, will be open from 8:30am to 2pm on the weekends of 7 and 8 May and 14 and 15 May.

In Northern Ireland, staff will be contactable from 9am to 5pm on those dates, on 0300 300 78748.

In Scotland there will be out-of-hours cover for farmers with IT related issues, including password reset or unlocking accounts, from 5pm to midnight on 13 May, from 9am to 5pm on 14 and 15 May, and from 5pm to midnight on 16 May.