Improving Farm Productivity Grants - Robotic Equipment and Solar PV System Grants Announced

Published: 26/01/2024 By George Whittaker

The second round of DEFRA Improving Farm Productivity Grants have been announced, releasing details of grant funding for robotic equipment and solar PV systems with a deadline for applications on Thursday 21 March 2024.

Overview

On the 25th January, DEFRA opened the second round of the Improving Farm Productivity Grant, open to farmers, growers and related contractors. It will pay for capital items to improve farm and horticulture productivity for the following items:

  • Robotic and Automated Equipment - to aid crop and livestock production – the minimum grant available is £25,000, the maximum grant available is £500,000. The grant will now cover up to 50% of the cost.   
    • Examples - Voluntary robotic milking systems, Feeding robots and Slurry robots. 

  • Solar PV Systems - to increase both energy resilience and the take-up of renewable energy generation on farms – the minimum grant available is £15,000, the maximum grant available is £100,000. The grant will cover up to 25% of the cost.
    • Example – Roof mounted solar photovoltaic systems for farm power but can include batteries and power can be connected to export surplus power back to the National grid.
Applicants can apply for both of the above categories, however your maximum grant amount still cannot exceed £500,000 in total for both applications together.

Application Process

As was the case in the first round, there is a 2-step application process for this round.   

  • Online checker The process starts with an online eligibility checker designed to determine eligibility and how well your project fits the funding priorities. It includes various questions on the type of equipment to be funded and the outcome is instant.  Depending on the outcome of the checker, applicants will be invited to make a full application.  
    • THE CHECKER IS NOW LIVE, AND IT WILL REMAIN OPEN FOR 8 WEEKS WITH A DEADLINE OF THURSDAY 21 MARCH AT 23:59
  • Full application Those invited to make a full application have until 30 June 2025 to apply. Information required to be submitted in the full application includes:
    • a breakdown of project costs and supplier details   
    • key dates and project milestones   
    • proposed project outputs and financial impact forecast   
    • explanation of how the project will be funded   
    • how it will make your business more efficient and improve its productivity   
    • details of agricultural inputs and outputs and how this might change
    • proof of planning permission (if required)
If you would like to discuss an upcoming project or would like more information on these grants, please contact George Whittaker, Senior Surveyor at our Dorchester office on 01305 236237 or a member of our Rural Grants team (below) in your nearest Symonds & Sampson office.

Our dedicated team of Surveyors offering a wide range of rural services to farmers and land owners throughout Dorset, Devon, Somerset, Wiltshire, Hampshire and Cornwall.  Please do get in touch to discuss how we can assist you.


Meet the Grants Team


Chris Powell


Rural Partner
Devizes

BSc(Hons) MRICS FAAV


Department: Devizes Rural and Agricultural, Rural and Agricultural, Professional,
Speciality: Agricultural Tenancies, Agricultural Appraisals, Agriculture, Biodiversity Net Gain, BPS, Contract Farming, Development Land, Diversification, Estate Management, Expert Witness, Farm Business Tenancies, Farms and Land, Grass Keep, Option Agreements, Options, Preparation of Plans for Land Registry, Promotions, Rural Grants and Subsidies, Tax Planning

01380 710535
07375 370163
cpowell@symondsandsampson.co.uk

Lester Williams


Partner, Auctioneer
Frome Market, Sherborne

MRICS FAAV


Department: Frome Market Rural and Agricultural, Sherborne Rural and Agricultural, Rural and Agricultural, Professional
Speciality: Agricultural Tenancies, Agricultural Appraisals, Agriculture, Biodiversity Net Gain, Boundary Disputes, BPS, Compensation, Compulsory Purchase, Contract Farming, Diversification, Easements, Energy, Estate Management, Farm Business Tenancies, Farms and Land, Grass Keep, Preparation of Plans for Land Registry, Probate, RICS Registered Valuer, RICS Valuer, Rural Grants and Subsidies, Tax Planning, Telecoms, Valuations, Valuations for Banks, Wayleaves

01935 818513
07778 646031
lwilliams@symondsandsampson.co.uk

A-J Monro (Andrew)


Partner, Head of Professional Services
Wimborne

BSC(Hons) MRICS FAAV APAEWE

Department: Rural and Agricultural, Professional, Wimborne Rural and Agricultural

Speciality: Agricultural Tenancies, AMC, Boundary Disputes, BPS, Compensation, Contract Farming, Development Land, Diversification, Easements, Energy, Expert Witness, Farm Business Tenancies, Farm Finance, Farms and Land, Grass Keep, Option Agreements, Options, Planner, Preparation of Plans for Land Registry, Probate, RICS Registered Valuer, RICS Valuer, Rural Grants and Subsidies, Tax Planning, Telecoms, Valuations, Valuations for Banks, Wayleaves



01202 882103
07867 555838
amonro@symondsandsampson.co.uk

Jack Edwards


Partner
Salisbury

MRICS FAAV


Department: Rural and Agricultural, Professional, Salisbury Rural and Agricultural
Speciality: Agricultural Tenancies, Agricultural Appraisals, Agriculture, BPS, Compensation, Contract Farming, Diversification, Easements, Estate Management, Farm Business Tenancies, Farms and Land, Grass Keep, Option Agreements, Planner, Probate, RICS Registered Valuer, RICS Valuer, Rural Grants and Subsidies, Valuations, Valuations for Banks, Wayleaves

01722 334323
07747 888385
jedwards@symondsandsampson.co.uk

Annabel Douglas


Rural Surveyor
Bridport

MSc MRICS FAAV


Department: Rural and Agricultural, Bridport Rural and Agricultural, Professional
Speciality: Agricultural Tenancies, Agricultural Appraisals, BPS, Compensation, Diversification, Estate Management, Farm Business Tenancies, Grass Keep, Planner, Preparation of Plans for Land Registry, Probate, RICS Registered Valuer, RICS Valuer, Rural Grants and Subsidies, Tax Planning, Valuations, Valuations for Banks



01308 459564 adouglas@symondsandsampson.co.uk

George Whittaker


Senior Surveyor
Dorchester, Poundbury Burraton House

AssocRICS FAAV MBIAC CEnv

Department: Rural and Agricultural, Dorchester Rural and Agricultural, Burraton Rural and Agricultural, Professional
Speciality: Agricultural Tenancies, Agricultural Appraisals, Agriculture, Biodiversity Net Gain, BPS, Contract Farming, Diversification, Estate Management, Farm Business Tenancies, Farms and Land, Grass Keep, Planner, RICS Registered Valuer, RICS Valuer, Rural Grants and Subsidies, Telecoms, Valuations


01305 236578
gwhittaker@symondsandsampson.co.uk