Sec­ond chance to ap­ply for ru­ral grants

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Etbusiness Daily - By JOHN KRALEVICH john.kralevich@pe­ter­bor­oughto­ *Peter­bor­oughet

SPE­CIAL­IST Fen­land agri­cul­tural ac­coun­tancy firm Moore Thompson is urg­ing farm­ers and ru­ral com­pa­nies to take ad­van­tage of a sec­ond round of grant fund­ing to boost their busi­nesses.

De­fra is now invit­ing ap­pli­ca­tions for grants of up to £25,000 to en­able busi­nesses to buy new ma­chin­ery and de­velop green projects.

The grants to­tal £40 mil­lion and mark the open­ing of the sec­ond round of the Ru­ral Com­mu­nity Broad­band Fund and the pub­li­ca­tion of guid­ance to a sec­ond wave of ap­pli­cants to the Farm­ing and Forestry Im­prove­ment Scheme.

An­drew He­skin, a part­ner in Moore Thompson’s farm­ing sec­tor team, said: “Those who missed out on the first round of grants are be­ing given a sec­ond chance to ap­ply for sig­nif­i­cant grants which will make a ma­jor dif­fer­ence to how they run their busi­nesses.

“Farm­ers and ru­ral busi­nesses need ev­ery help they can get in the cur­rent eco­nomic cli­mate, which is why they can’t af­ford to miss an op­por­tu­nity such as this.”

Grants of be­tween £2,500 and £25,000 will cover 40 per cent of the to­tal cost of projects, with up to 50 per cent fund­ing avail­able for projects in up­land ar­eas.

The Farm­ing and Forestry Im­prove­ment Scheme will fund new profit-boost­ing green schemes that save en­ergy and re­duce car­bon emis­sions, re­duce de­pen­dence on ar­ti­fi­cial fer­tilis­ers through bet­ter use of ma­nures, im­prove soil qual­ity, im­prove an­i­mal health and wel­fare, save and re­cy­cle water, and pro­mote wood­land man­age­ment by pro­cess­ing tim­ber more ef­fi­ciently.

The project will also en­able whole com­mu­ni­ties in the re­motest ar­eas to get su­per­fast broad­band.

This will help trans­form their busi­nesses and the wider com­mu­nity.

Farm­ing min­is­ter Jim Paice said: “This is good news for ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties. We’re al­ready hear­ing about the great ben­e­fits that our in­vest­ment has brought to ru­ral busi­nesses and farms. To­day, we’re trans­form­ing the busi­ness prospects of many more with new op­por­tu­ni­ties to get su­per­fast broad­band and boost their prof­its with new tech­nol­ogy.”

An­drew added: “This in­vest­ment in the ru­ral com­mu­nity by the Gov­ern­ment is def­i­nitely wel­comed by the in­dus­try at a time of ris­ing costs.

“Any­one who is look­ing to take ad­van­tage of this scheme should con­tact a spe­cial­ist agri­cul­tural ac­coun­tant now to en­sure their ap­pli­ca­tion is of the high­est qual­ity.”

The Farm­ing and Forestry Im­prove­ment Scheme will go live on May 22 and close on July 17, 2012.

fund­ing op­por­tu­nity: An­drew He­skin, a part­ner at Moore Thompson.

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