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Further to the launch of the Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme earlier this month, DEFRA has now advised that those applicants considering obtaining a grant to purchase equipment should be aware that they should “not order or buy any of the items in their application, before they have received confirmation that their application has been approved”.
Once approved, all items must be subsequently purchased before a claim can be submitted and DEFRA have stipulated that approved items must be purchased and claimed for within 150 days of the grant approval. “This date can not be extended and if the claim isn’t submitted within the timeframe, the offer of the grant will be withdrawn.”
To successfully claim on the items in the agreement, they need to be “at the location stated in the application and working” and DEFRA may ask for photos.
Our advice is to act quickly and speak to your preferred supplier in order to gauge realistic timescales. Suppliers may have waiting lists for certain popular items and getting equipment on farm within the 150 day timeframe to satisfy the claim, could be tight.
Please be aware you won’t be able to buy items under a hire purchase or lease agreement as these are ineligible. Purchasing in full is the only eligible method.
DEFRA have reported good early take up, the application process, in comparison to some other grants, appears to be a relatively straightforward online process. Initial feedback is that errors are being made when entering SBI and CRN numbers and in some instances, the email address used in the application is not matching that registered within Rural Payments system.
For more information and advice on the Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme contact: