We are really pleased to let you know that the forestry sector can now apply for a new round of the Countryside Productivity Scheme and LEADER Grants which are also available across most of the UK.
Countryside Productivity Scheme
The Countryside Productivity Scheme will offer large grants over £35,000 for investments in a clear and specific list of capital items to improve forestry productivity through felling, extraction and adding value by primary processing of timber products. It is administered by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).
Grants are available to private forest holders managing at least 10 ha of forest and micro, small, or medium-sized forestry contractor businesses, and they can apply for grants (a minimum of £35,000) which could cover up to 40% of the eligible costs of a project.
Detailed guidance on who can apply can be found in the ‘Improving Forestry Productivity Handbook:
The deadline for applications is the 3rd April 2018. Grants are funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
The Countryside Productivity Scheme is focused on encouraging businesses to make investments in specific larger capital items which have been identified as making the biggest impact on productivity in the forestry sector. Additionally, LEADER grants also support forestry productivity and they can support smaller investments, with grants usually starting at £2500.
LEADER grants are available across most of England, Wales and Scotland. They are offered by Local Action Groups. So far grants have already been approved for forestry businesses to buy items such as firewood processors, forestry tractors, timber forwarding trailers, log splitters and mobile sawmills.
Projects need to be able to show there will be an improvement in productivity/efficiency and sustainable employment. Additional information and contacts for your local area can be found on the Gov.uk website, or through a simple Google search. The LEADER programme is open until the end of 2019, although funds are expected to be fully allocated within the next 6-12 months. We would recommend contacting your local LEADER programme as soon as possible if you have a potential project to avoid missing out.
Click here to find out more about LEADER or give the Woodsure team a call on 01684 278188.