2015-11-16  

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Welsh Capital Grants Scheme Must be Open to all Tenants

The Tenant Farmers Association in Wales, TFA Cymru, has told the Welsh Government that it must not exclude farm tenants with short lengths of term from being able to obtain capital grants.

TFA Cymru is pleased to be among a number of stakeholder groups working with the Welsh Government to develop the Glastir Small Capital Grant Scheme.

TFA Cymru Chairman Dennis Matheson

TFA Cymru Chairman Dennis Matheson

The Welsh Government is proposing that the new grant scheme will sit under Glastir Advanced and Glastir Entry levels. TFA Cymru is keen to ensure that the scheme is available to any farmer who wants to apply.

TFA Cymru Chairman Dennis Matheson said;
“Sadly we have many short term Farm Business Tenancies in Wales which may fall outside the scope of the new scheme if the Welsh Government presses ahead to make it available only to those who have more than five years on their leases. Also, more widely, there is concern that quite a few Welsh farmers have not been able to access Glastir due to having insufficient points under the present Glastir scoring system”.

“On the tenancy front, TFA Cymru is arguing for longer term Farm Business Tenancies of 10 years or more but whilst we continue to have shorter agreements it is vital that they do not face discrimination under the scheme,” said Mr Matheson.

“Turning to the scoring system more widely, the whole system is turning into a complex postcode lottery, like Glastir Advanced, to the extent that many farmers are being put off from applying. Exactly the same has happened in England with the new Countryside Stewardship Scheme and we must learn from the mistakes that DEFRA has made rather than falling into the same traps,” said Mr Matheson.

“I want to see the scheme widely available with farmers being able to contribute to enhancing biodiversity and landscape across the length and breadth of Wales. Currently we run the risk that it will attract only a handful of well-placed individuals,” said Mr Matheson.

Final decisions are due to be announced by the Deputy Minister, Rebecca Evans following confirmation of the national budget.

Tenant Farmers

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