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£10 million Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme is now open for Scottish farmers and crofters

Mon 7 September 2020

The Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme (SACGS) opens for applications today, as part of the Scottish Governments Agriculture Transformation Programme (ATB) which is set to promote changes to meet challenging climate change targets.

The £10 million pilot grant scheme will be open for applications from Monday 7th September 2020, until midnight Sunday 11th October 2020. It allows for farmers and landowners to apply for 50% (up to £20,000) funding towards capital items that reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as improve land and livestock management. The extensive list of capital items supported includes sheep handlers, auto cattle weighing equipment and GPS guidance, to name a few. The full list of items can be found by clicking here.

Commenting on why the £10 million grant scheme should be considered by farmers and crofters, Mike Halliday said: “Fergus Ewing has stated that the Scottish rural economy is at the heart of the Governments Covid-19 Green Recovery plan, and SACGS showcases their commitment to supporting farmers and crofters in spearheading environmental efforts. The scheme is open to any farmers and crofters with a Business Reference Number, and grants will be based on standard costs meaning that applicants will not need to submit quotes, simplifying the application process. However, the scheme is expected to be oversubscribed, therefore a ‘green points’ system has been put in place. Each capital item has been allocated a specific number of ‘green points’ based on its contributions to the key scheme objectives, funding will be prioritised to the total ‘green points’ score on each application.”

The key scheme objectives are:

  • protecting and improving the natural environment;
  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions from farming operations;
  • support sustainable farming; and,
  • support sustainable land use.

Mike continued: “Bonus ‘green points’ will be rewarded to farmers and crofters that have completed a carbon audit and/or a nutrient management plan, and/or a veterinary health plan between 1st March 2017 and 1st March 2020, but only if they have applied for items associated with these audits and plans. With £10 million available, and with only five weeks to send in an application, we suggest that farmers and crofters seek professional advice to ensure that their choice of capital items ties in with multiple scheme objectives, therefore, giving them the best possible opportunity to maximise their ‘green points’ total.”

If you are looking for advice on The Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme, or the most suitable grant schemes for your business, please contact Mike Halliday on michael.halliday@youngsrps.com or 07718 478567.