Wales offers £40,000 start-up grants for young farmers

The Welsh government is offering 150 farmers start-up aid worth £40,000 as part of a Young People into Agriculture Scheme.

The government has made £6m available to fund the scheme, which aims to help people develop their leadership skills and prepare their businesses for life outside of the EU.

The scheme is aimed at high-achieving individuals under 40 years on 1 April who are looking to establish a new business or develop an existing one.

See also: Four young farmers on setting up successful dairy joint ventures

Successful applicants will be asked to demonstrate they have the attributes to lead dynamic businesses and drive change in the wider industry.

To qualify for the money – which can be used as working capital and will be paid in three instalments up until 31 March 2020 – they will need to meet agreed key performance indicators (KPIs).

Applications will initially be scored and ranked according to how they meet the selection criteria.

Different points will be awarded according to the type of business, business structure, academic qualifications, level of continuing professional development and the strength of the business plan.

The applications will be ranked in order until the maximum number allowed (150) is reached.

Only people who are setting up as head of a holding for the first time (by 1 September of the scheme year), or who started as head of a holding for the first time in the 12 months prior to the 1 April are eligible.

Expressions of Interest can be made between 1 April and 31 May.


To complement the grant scheme, the government has also proposed the creation of a Young People in Agriculture Forum.

Forum members will work with Welsh government to develop policies that benefit agricultural families, businesses and rural Wales.

The intention is to provide young people with an opportunity to express their views directly to ministers, senior officials and industry bodies with a view to supporting the next generation into agriculture.

Lesley Griffiths, cabinet secretary for rural affairs, said: “We need to be prepared for the challenges as we transition from the EU.

“The impact on our farmers is likely to be greater than for many other sectors.

“We must do all we can to build resilience and ensure we create an environment where business can prosper and individuals develop to become leaders of the industry.

“The two initiatives I am announcing today will give opportunities to young people to develop themselves and their businesses in preparation for a world outside the EU.”