DEFRA confirmed £200 million of funding would be made available for schemes under the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) on July 31,2017. The RDPE comprises three sources of grant aid, including the Countryside Productivity Scheme (CPS), the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPS) and LEADER writes Jack Harley, graduate surveyor with Greenslade Taylor Hunt.

Launched on the same day, the ‘first phase’ of the CPS was opened, covering Forestry Productivity and Water Resource Management.

At the end of October the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, opened the ‘second phase’, providing a further £40 million.

"This funding aims to boost the productivity of livestock, dairy, arable and horticultural enterprises, by allowing farmers and food processors to invest in new technologies that will improve the production of milk, meat and fruit." said Jack.

Applications can be made for small capital grants - a minimum of £35,000 - used to improve animal husbandry and water resource management; and large capital grants - £35,000 to £1m - to purchase machinery and equipment, such as robotic milking machines, weeding machines and digestate processing systems. “With the application window closing on December 3, 2018, the Government has guaranteed funding for CPS grants, provided they are agreed and signed before the UK exits the European Union,” said Jack.

Should you wish to explore any of these schemes or to discuss whether they could be of benefit to you, please contact GTH Professional Services. Call Jack at the Burnham-on-Sea office on 01278 765588 or find your nearest office.