Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme. What next?

Richard Wordsworth_44485

In this article, NFU senior BPS adviser Richard Wordsworth gives an update on the latest development in relation to the ongoing the Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme. He writes:

Round 2

The application window for making a claim for Round 2 of this scheme closed on 31 July. Those claims that were submitted will now be being processed by the RPA. Grant funding is paid directly into the bank account attached to a claimant’s SBI number registered in the Rural Payments service, so make sure a valid and active bank account for your business is in place.

Payments

The RPA aims to pay your complete claim within 30 working days of receipt of your claim evidence. If there are any issues, it may take longer. So, in order to avoid a delay, if you are contacted by the RPA please respond to them as soon as possible, having understood what the scheme rules require. If there has been a large number of claims made in the run up to the 31 July deadline, then it may take longer for the payment to be received.

Inspections

Please be aware that your claim for grant funding may be selected for inspection before the grant payment is made, or up to five years after this date. So it is important that all the details in your application, your claim and the declarations you make when submitting your application can be verified, as claim and items will be checked at inspection. So you need to keep them safe. This will include a check on the dates on which the items were bought, who the invoice or invoices were made out to and the specification of the equipment.

After you have received your grant

Please remember, items purchased with grant funding must be kept in situ, operational and in good repair. They must be used for the same purpose as set out in the original application, for five years from the date of the grant payment. The RPA may recover some or all of the grant if you breach the grant agreement during that period. More information on this can be found on pages 27 - 30 of the Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme handbook.

Publicity requirements

Once you have received your grant, you must meet the publicity requirements to display the European Union (EU) logo and publicise information about the funding you have received. Again, more information on this can be found on pages 27 - 30 of the Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme handbook.

Round 3

Defra is planning a further round of this popular scheme. Currently this is understood to be open for new applications in autumn 2020. It is expected to follow a similar approach and associated eligible items to those set out in the Round 2 handbook, but this cannot be confirmed until the scheme is launched. Watch out for developments in the coming weeks.

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