Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Farming and Forestry Improvement Scheme (FFIS)

The FFIS is part of the Rural Development Programme forEngland (RDPE) and is a scheme of support, developed to help farming, forestry and horticultural businesses in England to become more efficient at using resources.

This scheme aims to help make your business more profitable and resilient whilst reducing the impact of farming on the environment.

There is £20m available under FFIS until December 2013. The grants are for capital items and the grant rate available is up to 40% in non upland areas, and up to 50% in upland areas and the maximum grant allowable per project is £25 000. The minimum grant is £2,500.
What can be funded under FFIS?

To be eligible for funding under FFIS the project must fall within one of the following key areas of activity:
  • Forestry: Projects which improve the economic value of forests through the efficiencies of improved processing and adding value. Eligible items include timber processors, forwarders, forestry trailers, tractor mounted forestry grabs. 
  • Nutrient Management: Improvements in use of farm manures and slurries so as to improve soil quality and reduce reliance on artificial fertiliser.  Eligible items include slurry injectors, mechanical slurry separation systems and Global Positioning Systems.
  • Energy Efficiency: Projects to reduce or recover energy use on farm resulting in a reduction of farm energy bills and carbon dioxide emissions.  Eligible items include heat exchangers, gel coolers and ice builders.
  • Water Resource Management: Rainwater harvesting, recycling and reuse systems to reduce reliance on mains water.  Eligible items include pipework specifically to intercept and divert roof water to a storage facility, rainwater harvesting equipment.
  • Animal Health and Welfare: Projects which bring about significant improvements in farm animal health and welfare.
Who can Apply?
Farmers, foresters, contractors and horticulturalists across England are eligible to apply

How to apply
The application form will go live on the 16th November when the first round opens. In the meantime you are strongly advised to read the guidance in the handbook as there is some preparatory work you will need to do before you can apply.

If you wish to discuss your proposal before completing the forms or if the item you are applying for is not listed in the guidance then please contact your local Defra RDPE Delivery Team. (0300 numbers are charged at a local rate)
Completed application forms will only be accepted if submitted during an open round. The 1st round of the scheme is open from 16 November 2011 until 17 January 2012.

The selection process for FFIS is competitive and applications will be appraised against one another. This means that there is no guarantee of success and not all projects which are eligible will be awarded a grant.

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