A new capital grant is available under the countryside stewardship scheme for the restoration of traditional farm buildings. The application period began on 29th March 2018 and will continue until 31st January 2019. The grant is available for buildings that are within the following pilot National Parks:
- Dartmoor National Park
- The Lake District National Park
- Northumberland National Park
- The Peak District National Park
- The Yorkshire Dales National Park
The scheme is available for farmers and land managers to help deliver environmental and landscape benefits on their land. The scheme can pay up to 80% of eligible costs towards the restoration of eligible historic buildings up to a €2 million state aid limit.
The scheme provides funding for the restoration of historic buildings still used for their original purpose or unconverted buildings.
Examples of the work that can be funded include but is not limited to roof covering, weather proofing, structural work and joinery repairs, work to external architectural features and work involving internal features, fixtures and fittings.
The scheme cannot be used to fund the conversion of buildings to an alternative use, for example conversion to residential or commercial uses.
The scheme takes the form of an agreement between the applicant and Natural England running for two years.
All capital works that are agreed must be completed within two years of the agreement commencing and all claims for payments must be received within two years and three months of commencement.
Applicants must agree that the capital items funded through the scheme will be retained in the condition set out in the agreement for five years from the final payment date.
Finally, it should be noted that applicants are responsible for obtaining all necessary consents and permission for conducting the work.
The scheme has extensive eligibility criteria. Some of the key requirements are listed below in a non-exhaustive list:
- The building must be located in one of the five pilot National Parks.
- The building must be shown on an OS map to pre-date 1940.
- Applicants must have management control for five years.
- Proposals must be financially viable.
- Buildings must be located within a land parcel that is registered with the Rural Payment Service.
For those which projects which might be eligible for grant aid we would strongly recommend exploring the use of what might only be a time limited grant. At GSC Grays we have staff with experience of claiming similar grants and so, if this is of interest, please do not hesitate to contact your local office.