The FFIS is part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) and is a scheme of support, developed to help farming, forestry and horticultural businesses in England to become more efficient at using resources. This scheme aims to help make your business more profitable and resilient whilst reducing the impact of farming on the environment.
Round 3 of the Farming and Forestry Improvement Scheme (FFIS) has now been launchedand we expect to award around £10m of grants under FFIS in this third round. The selection process for FFIS is competitive. This means that there is no guarantee of success and not all projects which are eligible will be awarded grant, or at the amount of grant requested. Applicants are advised to read the Applicant Handbook very carefully as some of the conditions, eligible items and submission arrangements have changed since Round 2.
Please note that there is an error on page 30 of the Handbook relating to items for pig and poultry. Digesters for carcass disposal are not eligible for support under this grant scheme. Whilst incinerators are eligible, you will need to contact AHVLA and not the Environment Agency as set out in the Handbook. Further details regarding this are in the Frequently Asked Questions section.
The round will close on Friday 4 April 2014. Applications received after this date will not be processed. However, unlike previous rounds we will start processing applications as soon as they arrive. Therefore you are strongly advised to apply as soon as you can. Grant is paid in arrears so successful applicants will need to purchase and install the items before claiming grant from us. However it is important to note that all grant claims will need to be received by the RDPE Delivery team by the 31 January 2015. Therefore please only apply for FFIS funding if you are certain that you will be able to purchase and install your FFIS approved items in time to submit your claim by that date.
Revisions to FFIS for those farmers affected by flooding
As a result of the recent flooding we have reviewed the scheme and concluded that there are several ways that FFIS Round 3 can offer support for flood victims. The focus for Round 3 must however remain on improving the longer term competitiveness of the business with the Farming Recovery Fund above, addressing immediate and shorter term needs to get the farm and the business back on its feet.
The changes are summarised as:
Please note that under no circumstances will we accept applications submitted on Round 1 or Round 2 application forms.
The maximum grant per business for FFIS Round 3 is now £35,000 and the minimum grant is £2,500. Applicants who have received grant funding in previous FFIS rounds are eligible to apply and can apply for the full £35,000. However, in the event that the round is oversubscribed, priority will be given to applicants that have not previously been awarded grant.
Only items listed in the Applicant Handbook are eligible for funding and grant rates vary between 15% and 50% depending on the item and applicant location. There are 5 themes in FFIS:-
For an application to be processed we must receive a fully completed, signed hard copy of the application, an electronic copy (sent to FFIS3@defra.gsi.gov.uk) and all supporting documentation by the last post on Friday 4 April 2014. Under no circumstances will we accept hand delivered applications and as FFIS applications are now being processed by a central team they must be sent to the following postal address:
FFIS Round 3
PO Box 10383
Supporting documentation includes quotes, a declaration form signed by one of the owners of the business, copies of 2 years of full trading accounts, and relevant thematic documentation such as animal health and welfare plan summary, energy bills or water bills. Full details of the documentation required are in the Applicant Handbook so please read it carefully.
If you are submitting more than one application then please ensure that you only include one application form per email and ensure you follow the naming guidelines for emails detailed in the Applicant Handbook.
For any queries that cannot be answered by the Applicant Handbook, then you can try the Frequently Asked Questions. If you are still unsure then you can email the Defra FFIS team at FFIS3@defra.gsi.gov.uk or please contact the FFIS Helpline on: 0300 060 4761.
Please only telephone if your query is extremely urgent.
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