The Department for the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (Defra) has just opened doors for applications for what it is calling the “Adding Value Grant Scheme.” This scheme will provide up to 40% of eligible project costs or £300,000 (whichever is the lesser amount) for growers/producers/processors involved in processing/marketing any of the following:
- arable and horticultural crops (including food and non-food crops)
- livestock products (including dairy, meat, skins, and hides)
- non-food crops (including fodder, fibres, and flowers).
The application process will be highly competitive as there are limited funds for a scheme operating right across England and Wales. The scheme does not apply in Northern Ireland or Scotland. Because of the limited funds, priority will be given to projects that feature the following:
- increase, improve or introduce new processing capabilities
- grow your business – to improve business resilience
- process products for the first time
- shorten supply chains
- encourage collaboration and partnerships
- improve environmental sustainability.
To be eligible a business must either be totally producer/famer owned or at least in 50% ownership of farmers. The grant will cover the following eligible costs:
- equipment for preparing or processing edible agricultural products for added value sales
- equipment for ‘second stage’ processing of grain – for example, colour sorting, blending
- equipment for processing non-edible agricultural products into new products (for example, flax, hemp, wool, hides, and skins)
- equipment for retailing eligible agricultural products (for example, vending machines or display facilities)
- premises for the preparation or processing of added value agricultural products, including associated integral storage areas
- upgrades to electrical supply (subject to restrictions)
- one-off costs for e-commerce platform.
It must be noted that there is a big emphasis on processing and adding value and Defra does not regard storage as adding value. Therefore, if storage is included in the project, then:
- It must be integral to the processing e.g., Buffer storage before a grading plant.
- Must be a maximum of 50% of the total costs.
Examples of processing would be potatoes into chips or crisps, or milk into yoghurt. Examples of adding value are:
- topping and tailing
- dicing or cutting
- second-stage grain processing (e.g., colour sorting, blending).
Some elements of retailing may also be eligible e.g., farm shop structure, display equipment and automatic vending machines. However, from reading the details – whilst eligible retail is of lower priority than processing/adding value.
Defra will also look at the wider benefits in its assessment of projects, e.g., new collaborations, significant environmental benefits, use of sustainable packaging, use of renewable energy etc.
The grant scheme is two stage process and will work in the following way:
Stage 1: An initial eligibility and scoring process on-line.
Stage 2: For projects that are eligible and score strongly then they will be issued with a project number and full application form.
Passing Stage 1, even with a high score, is no guarantee of success or grant. The GOLDEN RULES, as with all grant schemes are the following:
- Make sure that your application matches the priorities of the scheme to maximise your chances of success.
- Comply with all conditions of the scheme both before and after completion of the project – there will be audits.
- Do not start work until you have been offered grant and signed off on the offer letter. Even the best project will be rejected if you start work early!
Act Now - Scheme Closes on 21st July 2022!
If you would like further information or want to make an application, then contact us today. Euro Access has over 30 years’ experience in grant negotiation and has generated over £93 million for clients in this period! An amazing record of success and benefits for our clients.
The on-line stage 1 phase of this current scheme ends on 21st July 2022. Do not delay!