Farm businesses could be eligible for grants of up to £5,000 under an EU scheme designed to help agriculture recover from the impact of Covid-19.
The £20m scheme has been made available to all small-and-medium-sized businesses in England by the European Regional Development Fund Programme.
See also: Read more from Farmers Weekly on grants
Grants of £1,000 to £5,000 will be paid to fund purchases of new technology and other equipment that will help businesses get back on track.
Funding can also be used for advice services including:
- Staff management
- Health and safety
- IT/digital or sector-related consultancy
Businesses will need to provide a quote for any work or purchases they intend to fund, and work must not have started on the project nor goods been purchased.
The scheme is being administered by the 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) Growth Hubs across the country. Each hub will have a minimum of £250,000 to launch the programme.
Rural consultants at property firm Savills have advised farmers to make early applications because the funding will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
Dan Murphy, of Savills’ food and farming team, said the grant funding was a good opportunity for farm businesses to invest in low capital cost equipment or professional advice that could help recover from Covid-19.
“To have the best chance of securing a grant, businesses should prepare now by researching their options and sourcing quotations to submit with their application, as there is expected to be high demand,” Mr Murphy said.