Apply for the “Improving Farm Productivity Grant” which is now OPEN!

Although the guidance on the grant – explaining what the grant is for, who is eligible to apply and the application process – was published last month, the long-awaited Stage 1 online checker was finally released last Friday (26th January). This means that applications are now open!

Grant Overview

This is the second time that this grant has been offered, the first being back in 2022.

The Improving Farm Productivity grant is open to farmers, growers and related contractors, paying for capital items to improve the farm and horticulture productivity through:

  • Funding robotic and automated equipment and systems in order to aid both crop and livestock production.
  • Installing solar equipment to be able to increase energy resilience and the take-up of renewable energy generation on farms.

Grants for robotic and automated equipment ranges with a minimum of £25,000 and a maximum of £500,000. The grant will now cover up to 50% of the cost, so can now support projects costing up to £1 million.

The solar equipment grant offers a minimum of £15,000 and a maximum of £100,000. The grant will now cover up to 25% of the cost, so can now support projects costing up to £400,000. It is important to note that any solar projects must be worth £60,000 before it becomes eligible for funding.

You are allowed to apply for both of the above grants (automated and robotic equipment as well as solar equipment), although the total grant amount must not exceed £500,000 when applying for both grants.

As stated above, the grant is eligible for horticultural and farm businesses. However, contractors from those sectors are only eligible to apply for grants which go towards the purchase of robotic and automated equipment, not solar equipment.

How to Apply

Applying for this grant involves a 2-step application process.

1st Stage – Online Checker

This stage checks if you are eligible for funding through an online checker. This checker has been designed not only to check eligibility, but to also make sure that your project idea fits within the funding priorities. For solar, these priorities include small schemes, projects including battery storage and areas of the sector that have previously received little funding. The checker will rate your project as either weak, average or strong, which will help you to understand your project’s chances of being successfully funded.

The online checker closes on the 21st March 2022.

2nd Stage – Full Application

Should you be considered eligible after completing the online checker, then you will have until 30th June 2025 to complete a full application.

Note: before submitting your application, planning permission may need to be secured depending on the nature of your project idea.

For more information and further guidance, please contact a member of our team who will be more than happy to help.