New rural development funding announced

by Tim Mudge

The Fresh Produce Journal website has the following article:

New £5m funding available to growers

New rural development grant scheme now open for projects including LED lighting and controlled atmosphere storage

Growers can now apply for funding from a new £5 million Defra grant to help fund technology projects. The first phase of the Countryside Productivity scheme was opened by farming minister George Eustice, and allows growers and farmers to apply for grants of up to £35,000 per business, or large grants worth between £35,000 and £1m.

Funding is available to horticultural producers for projects on LED lights with wavelength control, controlled atmosphere storage, remote crop sensors and crop robotics.Applicants can apply for 40 per cent of the total cost of the project, and must pay for the remaining 60 per cent themselves. They must also be able to afford to pay the full costs of their proposed project in the short term, as claims for the cost will be paid in arrears.

Funding will not be granted if the project depends on using other public money such as the Big Lottery, local authority, levy board funds, or other Government or European grants.

“We want the UK farming industry to be the best in the world and this funding is an important boost for farms looking to invest for the future,” said Eustice.