NEWS IN DETAIL...
Second round of FFIS grants launched
The second round of the FFIS scheme has now been launched with the new Applicant Handbook published on line.
The Farming and Forestry Improvement Scheme is part of the Rural Development Programme for England and is a scheme of support, developed to help farming, forestry and horticultural businesses in England to become more efficient at using resources. The scheme aims to make businesses more profitable and resilient whilst reducing the impact of farming on the environment.
The Applicant Handbook is now available here.
The Application Form for round 2 will be available to download from the RDPE Network site on the 22nd May 2012.
For more information on the scheme, please click here to access the info on the RDPE network pages.
Information from Defra regarding applications
Round 2 will close at 5.00pm on Tuesday the 1th July 2012. Applicants are strongly advised to read the Handbook very carefully as there are some significant differences in eligible items and scheme rules in this round.
The maximum grant amount remains at £25,000 over the lifetime of FFIs per farm business and the minimum grant per application remains at £2,500. However grant rates per item now vary between 15% and 50% depending on item and applicant location. It is expected that this round will be very competitive and therefore all applicants are strongly advised to ensure that applications are fully completed and are received on time. Incomplete applications and those received late will be rejected.
For an application to be considered complete it is necessary to include:
- A signed hard copy with the declaration form signed by ALL partners of the business, or in the case of limited companies, a company director and the company secretary.
- Two copies of 2 years of full trading accounts which show the profit and loss, balance sheets and notes to the accounts
- A summary of the animal health and welfare (AHW) plan, (or full plan) supported by your vet if applying for an AHW item.
- Energy bills, water bills and letters of support if applying for those relevant themes.
- Evidence that planning permission has been sought if required.
In order to be able to appraise applications, it is also required to provide three independent competitive and comparable quotes for the majority of items. There are a very small number of items where the amount of grant funding will be limited to a specific amount per unit, and in these cases only 1 quote will be required. Failure to supply the required number of quotes will result in your application being poorly scored in the appraisal. The advice is therefore to ensure that applicants and / or your clients have fully read the Applicant Handbook very carefully.
Key do's and don'ts
Do - use the new mailbox for submitting your application - email@example.com
Do - check your email regularly as this will be the main point of contact
Do - read the handbook and application form carefully and ensure that ALL the necessary information and supporting documentation is included in your application, incomplete applications will not be accepted.
Do - ensure completed applications are received by 5.00pm on 17th July this includes electronic and hard copy elements of this application. Applications received after this time will be returned.
Do - ensure that all the mandatory sections on the application form are complete, applications will not be accepted that are incomplete.
Do - apply as early as possible after the 22nd May, this will help to improve the time taken to process the applications (it will not be possible to make an offer on any application until all applications across the country have been appraised).
Do - ensure that you only apply for items which are specified as eligible in the handbook.
Do - ring and make an appointment with the SW delivery team if you wish to deliver and go through your application on 0300 0604311.
Appointments are available on the following dates:
- Exeter: 14/15th June 2012
- Bristol: 18/19th June 2012
- Truro: 25/26th June 2012
Don't - use the application form from round 1 -we will be unable to accept it
Don't - submit more than one application per email or in one envelope.
Don't - submit an application without all the necessary supporting information and sections of application form completed.
For more information click here to download the frequently asked questions.