Slurry Infrastructure grant – round 2

Environment and climate
A slurry storage tower with slurry stirrer attached

Photograph: Wayne Hutchinson/Alamy

Defra has now published guidance for applicants to round 2 of the Slurry Infrastructure grant, which opened for initial outline applications on 21 November 2023. Read our breakdown below.

The Slurry Infrastructure grant helps dairy, beef, pig farmers in England invest in future-proofed slurry infrastructure and nutrient management systems, with an aim to help reducing water and air pollution risk from slurry.

Grants of between £25,000 and £250,000 are available to improve your slurry storage to go beyond legal minimums. These are being provided to help improve the use of organic nutrients on your farm, aiding productivity and reducing pollution. The grant is only available for slurry stores located in England.

The initial online checker closed on 17 January 2024.

NFU members can watch back our webinar on round 2 of the grant where the NFU's experts explained the latest guidance from Defra: Watch again: Slurry Infrastructure grant round 2.


Reading the round 2 guidance carefully is a must to understand the offer and what is required as it is different from round 1.

The guidance includes five documents:

Within this guidance is new EA (Environment Agency) / Defra information on the use of slurry separators that should be read by those looking at this approach or who already have one.

Defra will also be hosting a webinar on 23 November 2023, where you can hear more about round 2 and put any questions to Defra, the Rural Payments Agency, and the Environment Agency – register at: GOV.UK | A Defra webinar: The Slurry Infrastructure grant round 2.

The deadline for submitting a full application for round 2 will be 27 June 2025. This will follow on from those who have been shortlisted, and have successfully submitted a slurry store location and design assessment by the 30 September 2024, and have progressed to the full application stage.

Next steps

The application process for round 2 will involve three stages:

  1. Slurry wizard and online checker: From November 2023, Defra will open the window for an initial application. This will involve using AHDB’s Slurry Wizard tool to understand your current and future storage needs and using an online checker to ensure you are eligible. If you are eligible, you can then submit an application via the online checker. Online checker information will be shared with Catchment Sensitive Farming advisers within Natural England. If your online application is not successful, information will not be shared with the EA. The initial online checker will be open until 17 January 2024.
  2. Slurry wizard and online checker: If your initial application is successful and shortlisted, you will be notified when the online checker closes and invited to complete a slurry store location and design assessment form, which will then be checked by the EA. This form must be submitted no later than 30 September 2024. This stage will prevent time or money being wasted later.
  3. Full application: If the EA is satisfied with the location and design assessment, you will then be asked to submit a full application. This application will be assessed by the RPA, who will look at the viability of the project as well as the financial viability of your business and your plans to fund the project until the grant arrives. The full application must be submitted by 11.59pm on 27 June 2025.


Due to an increase in funding, Defra says it will be able to take more projects forward from the initial online checker stage to the full application stage than it did during round 1.

For round 1 there was £33.9m available, for rounds 2 and 3 there is a combined £147m available. Defra is also mindful of the supply chain issues and inflationary pressures that can bring.

Officials have also increased the number of areas in which applications will be considered a priority, meaning you stand a greater chance of having your application prioritised.

The priority areas can be viewed on MAGIC – just select ‘land based schemes’ > ‘other schemes’ > ‘slurry infrastructure grant – round 2 areas (England)’ in the menu on the left-hand side. This information will be available from November.

Importantly, given 30% of successful applicants during round 1 fell outside of a priority area, but were still shortlisted, you are strongly encouraged to submit an initial application even if you do not fall within one of these areas for round 2.

Other slurry/capital funding

In addition to this funding there will be a further two rounds of the small grants Farming Equipment and Technology Fund – Productivity and Slurry theme, with £21m set aside across these two rounds for slurry items (in addition to funding for other productivity items). The first of these two rounds is due to open in early 2024.

There is also capital grant funding for related items within Countryside Stewardship. More information on this can be found at: GOV.UK | Countryside Stewardship grants.

NFU input

We've worked with members and extensively with the Defra team over the past year through a combination of co-design and bilateral engagement, building up a good working relationship to help shape this latest offer and ensure transparency within the scheme.

We have made a real difference to move the offer on from Defra's initial thinking, such as the ability for a farmer to choose from a wider range of infrastructure types to suit their farm as well as the grant not being restricted to just new installations. Despite this, some elements of the offer have not been consulted on, such as the actual prioritisation area, payment rates or timelines.

NFU members, join our Environment and climate community to comment

This page was first published on 23 November 2023. It was updated on 23 January 2024.

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