The UK Government has announced an England-only grant to help companies purchase innovative farming equipment that increases productivity and improves the environment.

The grant is the latest push by the Westminster government to help existing farmers in England overhaul their existing technology with the latest hardware and software available.

It writes, “If you are an agricultural contractor, your business address must be registered in England. And you can only use the grant for buying robotics and innovative farming equipment.”

Further information below:

What the grant is for

Slurry treatment equipment

The grant can pay up to 40% of the costs for:

  • mild acidification equipment (all projects must buy acid storage, dosing equipment, mixing tank and pump)
  • acidification infrastructure (for example, any work to adapt or install pipework, pumps etc to get slurry into the acidification system and then out to storage)

Robotics and innovation equipment

The grant can pay up to 40% of the costs for:

  • robotic horticulture and arable equipment (for example, robotic weeding, robotic harvesting)
  • robotic animal welfare equipment (for example, robotic milking, robotic feeding)
  • advanced ventilation control systems for existing horticultural and livestock buildings
  • wavelength-specific LED lighting for horticultural crops.

Reducing environmental impacts is a key aim of the scheme. Therefore, robotic equipment utilising an electric or renewable energy source will be prioritised over fossil fuel (for example diesel) powered equipment. Biofuels are considered as renewable energy under this scheme.

The minimum grant you can claim is £35,000 (40% of £87,500). The maximum grant per theme is £500,000 per applicant.

If you want to apply for both a slurry project and a robotics project, you need to submit 2 separate applications. The maximum grant amount across both projects is £500,000.

When to apply

Grant stage Opens Closes
Check if you’re eligible 19 January 2022 16 March 2022
Full application 19 January 2022 14 September 2022

Before you start the project, you can:

  • get quotes from suppliers
  • apply for planning permission (this can take a long time).

You need to apply for planning permission before you submit a full application. Any planning permission needs to be in place by 31 December 2022.

You should not start the project or commit to any costs (such as placing orders) before you receive a funding agreement as this may cancel your application.

How to apply for a grant

You should read the Farming Transformation Fund Improving Farm Productivity grant manual before you apply.

Check if your project can apply for a grant

Before you can apply for a grant, you need to use our online checker. To do this you’ll need:

  • information about your business (for example, number of employees, turnover)
  • information about the project (for example, volume of slurry or digestate, the project impact)
  • a list of the items you’d like to buy for the project
  • an estimate of the total cost of the items.

After you have gone through the checker, you’ll get a score showing how well your project fits the funding priorities.

RPA wants to fund projects that:

  • improve productivity
  • improve the environment
  • introduce innovation.

When you are happy with your score, you can submit your details to RPA.

You can go back through the checker as many times as you like but you can only submit your details once.

Check if your project can apply for a grant.

Submit a full application

RPA will contact you when the full application period opens.

We will tell you if your project scored well enough to get the full application form.

We will assess value for money together with the funding priorities and this may impact your overall project score.

You will be competing for funding so the likelihood of your full application being successful will also depend on the number and value of other applications we receive.

Read the Improving Farm Productivity How to Apply.

If your application is successful, we will send you a funding agreement and you can begin work on the project.