Monday, 3 February 2014

New grants for farming, forestry and low carbon businesses

We are pleased to see the arrival of two new grant schemes that are available to the forestry sector in Kent.

The FFIS and Low Carbon Plus grants can support existing businesses with machinery and other capital and business development costs.

It is possible that there is some overlap in these grants so applicant may need to decide which is best for their business.  As far as we can tell there is no restriction on applying to both.

The FFIS is a £10M 'pot' available in England.  The Low Carbon Plus pot is £1M and available to Kent-based businesses only.


First up is the re-opening of the FFIS (Farming and Forestry Improvement  Scheme).  Round 3 of this scheme will provide grants of up to £35,000.  The grant rate in lowland areas is 40%.  Previous beneficiaries of FFIS can re-apply.

Eligible items for the forestry sector include timber processors, harvesters and tractor-mounted forestry grabs.  Deadline for applications is April 4th.  This scheme is funded by RDPE (Pillar 2 if the CAP).

Low Carbon Plus

The next grant is an entirely new grant that is being delivered by Kent County Council's Low Carbon Business Network.

The Low Carbon Plus scheme will provide £1M worth of grants to existing businesses that are involved in 'low carbon' goods and services.

Grants of up to £20,000 may be used for: 
  • Development finance: funding required to expand the business (for example, marketing costs)
  • Plant and machinery: costs of re-tooling and installation of machinery  and hardware and training required to operate it
  • Intangible assets: including costs of purchasing patents, IT, software and licences
  • Consultancy costs (e.g. marketing, business planning)
Applicants must be based in Kent. The grant rate is 50%.

The scheme is currently at the pre-launch stage.  Businesses are invited to complete an expression of interested which can be found here.  This scheme is funded by the EU-ERDF.

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