Important reminder regarding Farm Business Improvement Scheme

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The Ulster Farmers’ Union’s rural development chairman, Alex Irwin, is urging farmers to ensure they give themselves enough time to complete the ‘Making it Safer’ online assessment and obtain a letter from their bank.

Both are requirements for the Farm Business Improvement Scheme application process, which closes Friday, 16th December.

“Farmers are busy and often applications for these types of schemes can slip down the ‘to do’ list. With only a few days until the scheme closes, I am encouraging farmers to ensure they give themselves enough time to complete the application form, as well as two of the main requirements – the ‘Making it Safer’ online assessment and getting a letter from the bank,” said Mr Irwin.

The UFU is also encouraging farmers to ensure they complete the application form fully, especially when submitting their application online.

Mr Irwin said: “Towards the end of the application there is a summary of the items and grant support sought, farmers must ensure they click ‘apply total grant sought’ to help them meet the ‘value for money’ criteria of the application.

“If you are considering submitting an application, I would encourage you to think carefully about the items you require before applying to the scheme. If you are successful and accept your letter of offer but later do not purchase the item, penalties could be imposed and this could also affect future applications, as per the EU rules.

“Farmers must also remember to wait until you receive your letter of offer and accept it before purchasing items, otherwise they will not be covered by the scheme.”