Government launches two new grant schemes for rural business

Two new grant funds were launched yesterday from the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), seeking to help support agricultural and rural business under the Countryside Productivity scheme.

The first is the Improving Farm Productivity grant, which has a deadline of the 3 December 2018 for applications. This seeks to fund projects that can be finished and grant claims submitted by 31 December 2020. Grant items included in the handbook are:

Land criteria evidence – how hard is it?

Land criteria... these two simple words can fill most people with fear and confusion, and I can understand why. The guidance from BEIS and Ofgem is vague at best, and it’s difficult to understand what it means for you. There is no “one size fits all” answer, but having dealt with a variety of different fuel applications it gives us a good idea of what is easy, reasonable and importantly, will meet the requirements.

To get started, here are some simple questions that you can ask yourself:

Is my fuel grown under a voluntary scheme such as the Energy Crops Scheme?

RHI regulations brought forward

The long anticipated RHI regulations are to come into effect on 20 September. The reforms were laid before parliament yesterday giving the minimum 20 day notice. This has the greatest impact for biomass boilers where the tariffs for small, medium and large biomass will all align to one new tariff. There will also be a change in the Tier 1 load factor which will increase from 15% to 35%, meaning that boilers can run for 3066 hours instead of 1314 hours before reaching the threshold.

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