Funding: Farmers can apply for thousands in grants to improve slurry storage

By Teodora Lyubomirova contact

- Last updated on GMT

GettyImages/Jay Yuno
GettyImages/Jay Yuno

Related tags: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, farming, infrastructure, Funding

English dairy and livestock farmers will get a chance to obtain grants ranging from £25,000 to £250,000 to fit new or improve existing slurry stores as new funding program launches next month.

Grants will be available to help replace, build additional or expand existing slurry stores to provide six months’ storage. The money can be used for tanks, lagoons and concrete stores as well as reception pits, slurry pumps and large permanent bags. The scheme would not fund anaerobic digestors or acidification systems, among others.

The grant uses standard costs, with successful applicants set to receive a fixed contribution towards the cost of the required items, e. g. £31.50/m3 for above-ground steel slurry store. The minimum grant is £25,000 (approx. US$30,300) and the maximum is £250,000 (approx. US$303,000) .

The scheme is run by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs alongside the Rural Payments Agency and will prioritize projects in areas where pollution from agriculture needs to be reduced and where natural habitats need to be restored. According to Defra’s interactive map, this includes areas in Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cumbria, North Yorkshire, and others.

Who can apply, and how?

Both landowners and tenants can apply for funding, as long as their farming system already produces slurry and they farm pigs, beer, or dairy.

The application process involves two stages. Firstly, farmers need to use an online checker to work out their storage requirements and provide an ordnance survey grid reference for the proposed slurry store; find out if they are eligible, and how much funding they could receive. Secondly, RPA will decide if the project is eligible for a grant and invite the applicant to formally apply.

The online checker will open on December 6, 2022 and close on January 31, 2023. The deadline for submitting full applications is June 28, 2024. 

If the demand is high, RPA will produce a shortlist based on the priority areas and select projects in areas at the biggest pollution risk. According to Defra, agriculture accounts for 87% of UK ammonia emissions; up to 60% of nitrate pollution, and 25% of phosphate pollution in waterways.

For more information, visit: gov.uk/government/publications/slurry-infrastructure-grant​. 

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