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Window of Opportunity Now Open for Water Capital Grants 2015

Carlisle based H&H Land and Property have announced that the window for the submission of applications for this year’s Countryside Stewardship Water Capital Grants is open between 2nd March and 30th April 2015.

Applications will be managed as a paper-based system this year with the assessments being carried out in May 2015 and approved in June 2015. These applications will be highly competitive and assessment will be carried out on a points based system, so H&H Land and Property are encouraging farmers to take advantage of this funding opportunity as soon as possible.

Farm Images

© Farm Images

The Water Capital Grant Scheme supports farmers to undertake practical works, helping improve water quality and reduce pollution from agricultural activity available within the CSF project’s catchment areas. The target areas are CSF Priority Catchment Areas, which includes areas of Cumbria, North Northumberland and the East Coast of Durham.

Capital grants are currently available without associated Countryside Stewardship agreements throughout 2015; from 2016 the Catchment Sensitive Farming grants will be incorporated into the new Countryside Stewardship scheme, which also offers associated land management options if required. From 2016, those with existing ELS or HLS agreements will not be able to apply for the water grants; eligibility will only become available for many holdings with the expiration of their existing ES schemes.

Capital items that can be claimed for include: gateway relocation, water gates, hard bases for livestock feeders and drinkers, livestock troughs, outdoor concrete yard renewal, all types of livestock fencing around water courses and relocation of sheep pens, as well as many more.

Tom Heseltine the Assistant Agricultural Advisor for H&H Land and Property today said: “This is good news for Northern farmers in the catchment area, as a large amount of funding is available to local farmers. With the deadline being quite soon on 30th April, we encourage farmers to submit their applications in good time.”

Tom went on to say: “With the minimum agreement length being set for 5 years, the grant has to be used in the intended way for 5 years after the final payment date. We are only too happy to offer any guidance to farmers to assist them in submitting their applications, mapping of photographic locations of proposed capital works before the deadline.”

One major change from previous years is that the grants are now fixed standard rates, rather than based on a percentage of the actual costs. One of the main requirements will be for ‘before and after’ photo’s to be used in conjunction with the applications and claims procedures.

The Capital Grant Scheme is a competitive fund with grants being awarded to the applications that best meet the scheme’s priorities whilst demonstrating the greatest environmental benefit. Grants of up to £10,000 per holding are available.

Farmers are urged to take advantage of this opportunity to capitalise on the large amount of funding available in the Cumbria area.

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