Closing date looms for Tier 1

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Agriculture Minister Michelle McIlveen has reminded farmers and growers that applications for Tier 1 of the Farm Business Improvement Scheme (FBIS) – Capital Scheme will close on 16 December 2016.

Miss McIlveen said £40million has been allocated for the FBIS Capital Scheme and there has already been a great deal of interest in applying for grant aid under Tier 1 of the scheme.

“For those who have yet to submit an application for Tier 1, I would urge you to do so before the scheme closes at 4pm on Friday 16 December 2016.”

Miss McIlveen urged farmers to ensure that they had taken all the necessary steps before submitting an application for grant aid.

She continued: “Applicants should approach their bank or lending institution as soon as possible to give lenders time to complete their input to the Indication of Support letter to confirm funds are available for the applicant’s project.

“I would also recommend that farmers and growers think carefully when choosing items from the list of eligible items and would encourage them to go for the more highly rated items where this suits their business needs.”

Each item on the list has been assigned to one of three RDP theme bands with Band 1 receiving the maximum 40 marks; Band 2, 34 marks; and Band 3, the minimum 28 marks. If the application has items across the three bands then the mark awarded under this criterion will be that of the lowest band item applied for. Therefore, applicants can optimise their marks by choosing band 1 items, provided, of course, these are items that will benefit the business.

Miss McIlveen added: “If potential applicants need information on the application process I would advise them to view the DAERA website in the first instance to familiarise themselves with the tools and information available, including the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ which is updated regularly.” Help is also available by email at tier1@countrysideservices.com or via the Helpline at 0845 026 7535.