What is the new scheme?
Final details of the new range of grant schemes are not yet complete, but water management will be a prominent feature of the Farming Transformation Fund, and the NFU continues to feed ideas into Defra about scheme design.
When the new scheme is launched later this year it will be similar to previous Countryside Productivity schemes that many farmers will be familiar with, with a focus on the availability of up to 40% grant funding towards the cost of reservoir construction and associated infrastructure and equipment.
What is the NFU's position?
The NFU hopes that, in the longer term, a more innovative scheme can be developed that supports the delivery of integrated water management and sits beside Environmental Land Management scheme proposals to deliver clean and plentiful water.
The NFU strongly advocates capital grant funding for water management projects and is keen for the new scheme to be launched as quickly and smoothly as possible.
We are therefore urging members to volunteer to test the application process for the new scheme – and get some insight into how the real thing will work when launched.
How can I take part in testing?
Volunteers will be supplied with a username and password which will give them access to the online service.
They will be asked to answer a series of simple questions about a proposed project to see if it is eligible and, if eligible, to gain insight into the relative strength of the application and its likelihood of success.
If you're interested in taking part in this exercise, please email David Sillett at the RPA.