Productivity grant scheme applicants given more time to comply

Successful applicants to the Countryside Productivity Small Grants (CPSG) scheme have been given more time to buy kit after Covid-19 restrictions caused delays in equipment supplies.

The scheme provides grants of up to £12,000 to fund 40% of certain new equipment costs.  

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Under the scheme there are two deadlines. The first is for applications to take part in the scheme, which passed on 4 November 2020.

The second is a date by which the 3,800 farms already approved must buy and install the equipment and submit their claim for funding.

It is this secondary deadline that has been set back to midnight 31 May – a two-month extension on the original date.

The move followed reports that farmers were struggling to secure deliveries of purchased equipment within the original timeframe due to coronavirus disruptions.

NFU officials raised the issue with the Rural Payments Agency (RPA), which has now pushed back the deadline to give farmers more time to comply.

The NFU welcomed the extension, but urged farmers to press on with the ordering and purchasing process.

“Claims can and should be made at the earliest possible point, and some claims have already been made,” a spokesperson for the union said.

“It is important to remember that successful applicants need to confirm the items they wish to order are available before accepting their grant,” the spokesperson said.

This must still be done via the RPA acceptance portal before 18 January 2021.

The NFU said it would continue to monitor the situation and members should raise any issues through its helpline or dedicated email.