£12,000,000 investment scheme for farmers and growers open for applications

Tier 2 of the Farm Business Improvement Scheme - Capital (FBIS-C) is now open for applications.

The funding for farmers and growers will provide transformational investment in on-farm projects costing in excess of £30,000.

Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots said he is “delighted” to announce the re-opening of Tier 2 FBIS Capital.

He commented: “The focus of this multi-million pound fund is on larger-scale investment to encourage a step change in the agriculture and horticulture sectors.

DAERA Minister Edwin Poots MLA pictured with Paul Smyth - Director, Greenhill Systems in Ballymena.

“We want to drive transformational investment in future proofed, fit-for-purpose, modern infrastructure and equipment, guided by a robust business planning process within assisted farms.

“I am now inviting those farmers and growers who submitted an expression of interest, and who are ready to make a significant investment to transform their business, to come forward now with their application to the scheme.

“I would encourage all applicants to familiarise themselves with the online guidance which is available on the DAERA website, ahead of making an application to what will be a highly competitive scheme. My Department will issue invitations later this month for all eligible applicant to attend further online information sessions,” he added.

There was a significant number of expressions of interest in this tranche of Tier 2 FBIS – Capital, which were used to explore the type of investment planned, approximate total costs and potential time for completion.

DAERA held online information events in October for potential applicants to the scheme, which will provide a grant rate of 40 per cent of eligible costs, with £250,000 the maximum grant available.

Only those farm businesses that submitted an expression of interest will be eligible to submit a full application for Tier 2 tranche 2 by the application closing date, 4pm on 1 April 2022.

Applicants will be required to submit a separate robust, viable and sustainable business plan as part of their full application, which shows that they have carefully planned their investment and what difference the proposed project will make in transforming their farm into a more sustainable, efficient and safer business.

All projects which involve construction or extension of buildings will require planning permission or a certificate of lawfulness to be in place before a full application to the scheme is submitted.

Further information on the FBIS-C Tier 2 is available on the DAERA website at: www.daera-ni.gov.uk/articles/farm-business-improvement-scheme