Deadline Looming For Applications To Improvement Scheme In N. Ireland

The deadline for applications to Tier 2 of the Farm Business Improvement Scheme in Northern Ireland is set to close this week.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has encouraged farmers and growers interested in the scheme to get their applications in as soon as possible.

DAERA gave farmers and growers more time to submit their Tier 2 applications by extending the closing date for the first tranche of the scheme to 4pm on Friday, March 10.


The department decided to extend the deadline, due to Tier 2 applications for the scheme requiring substantial time and commitment to complete – on account of the projects being on such a large scale.

Prospective applicants are being urged by the department to ensure that they have met all the requirements for the Tier 2 application process.

Applicants are reminded that they must include, or upload if submitting online, all the additional supporting information and permissions required for the Tier 2 application process.

A number of tools and additional information on the scheme is available on the DAERA website to assist prospective applicants in examining the viability of potential projects.

Applications to Tier 2 of the scheme opened just before Christmas and were originally scheduled to close at 4.00pm on February 24.

The focus of this tier of the scheme is on transformational investment, in projects costing in excess of £30,000 (€34,675).

Funding is provided at a grant rate of 40% of eligible costs, with £250,000 (€288,965) being the maximum grant available under the scheme.

Applicants must propose their projects through a business plan, which will be assessed against a number of key themes.

These themes will include the contribution to sustainable growth, environment, weather resistance and climate change, animal and plant health, occupational health and safety, as well as production and resource efficiency.

The second tier is primarily for construction projects and the purchase of higher value equipment linked to the needs identified in the farmer’s business plan.

(Source – Agriland – Conor Finnerty – 07/03/2017)

DAERA Environmental Scheme Now Open For Applications

The Environmental Farming Scheme (EFS) is now open for applications, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has announced.

Applications to Tranche One of the Scheme should be submitted online before the closing date of 31 March 2017.

The EFS is DAERA’s new agri-environment scheme under the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020.

It has three levels: Wider Level to deliver benefits across the countryside outside of environmentally designated areas; Higher Level, primarily for environmentally designated sites; and Group Level to support co-operative action by farmers in specific areas such as river catchment.

The scheme has been designed to address specific environmental needs, primarily relating to biodiversity and water quality.  Successful applicants will be offered a five year agreement to deliver a range of targeted environmental measures.

The EFS is a voluntary scheme. Farmers and landowners with a DAERA category 1 or 2 Business ID and three hectares of land that is eligible for Basic Payment are eligible to apply.

Full details of the Scheme and guidance are available on the DAERA website at .

Environmental Scheme now open for applications

Environmental Scheme now open for applications

This should be an applicant’s first port of call.

For those who may not have access to IT or broadband for the online application, one-to-one assistance is available through appointments at DAERA Direct offices.

Alternatively Libraries NI have agreed to facilitate rural applicants with broadband access through any of their 98 libraries across Northern Ireland.

An EFS Advisory Team is available to provide advice and guidance on the scheme and how to apply for it.  This team should be the applicant’s first point of contact - or via telephone on 0300 200 7848.  

Advisors will be able to guide users through the online application process.  They will also arrange one-to-one assistance, where necessary.

(Source – Impartial Reporter – 28/02/2017)

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