SCGS to be suspended

Small Capital Grant suspended while new delivery plans
developed

9 June 2011

The Small Capital Grant Scheme for farmers, which is part of the
South West Agricultural Resource Management Scheme (SWARM), is to
be suspended temporarily to new applications while arrangements for
its successor, a national small grant scheme is developed by
Defra.

The Small Capital Grant Scheme will be suspended to new
applications from 20th June 2011. Only complete applications will
be considered – incomplete applications will be returned.

Other elements of SWARM, the advisory projects Resource
Efficiency for Farmers (R4F), Soils for Profit (S4P) and the SWARM
Knowledge Hub will still be available and their contact details and
web links are below.

With the applications we have already received and those that
will arrive before the 20th of June we will have exceeded our
allocation for the Small Capital Grant Scheme for the 2011/12
financial year.

Defra will assume responsibility for delivering the RDPE from
the 1st July 2011. Following the transfer of RDPE delivery to Defra
there will be a progressive transition to a more nationally
consistent programme, including a new national small grant scheme
which will be launched later in 2011. As a result, it makes sense
for us to suspend the grant scheme temporarily so that we can
complete applications and create some space while we wait for
details and begin to plan for new delivery arrangements.

The South West RDA is now contacting delivery partners to let
them know that the potential applicants who have received an
advisory visit and wish to apply for a grant must do so by 20th
June 2011. Applications received after that will not be accepted.
People who have already submitted applications need not do
anything, they will be processed as normal. Claims for contracts
already in place will continue to be honoured.

Suspending the grant scheme on a temporary basis has been a very
difficult decision but we have carefully considered all the options
and see little alternative if we are to prepare for the anticipated
new arrangements.

We remain committed to a comprehensive specialist advisory
service for farmers and landowners, albeit that we will not for the
foreseeable future be able to follow this up with access to capital
grants. All other elements of SWARM, including advisory visits and
the recently launched Knowledge Transfer ‘hub’ project, will
continue as usual.

Since its launch in October 2009, SWARM has seen more than 2500
farm visits by advisors while the number of grants awarded to
farmers and landowners has reached 575 and amounts to more than
£3.1 million in total. Funding has been given towards the cost of
installing capital items including insulation of poultry units,
installation of heat recovery devices in dairy units, variable
speed motors, GPS equipment, soil aeration equipment, slurry
separators and variable rate fertiliser spreaders.

Although we are not yet in a position to commit to a timetable
for the launch of a nationally consistent grant programme to
replace our regional arrangements, we will endeavour to minimise
the period before an alternative is in place. We will give people
more information as soon as we have it. In the meantime, anyone
with any concerns or questions should contact us on 01872
243770.

Links:

Soils for Profit  –
Soils for Profit on the Natural England website

Resource Efficiency for Farmers – Business
Link’s Rural Enterprise Gateway

SWARM Knowledge Hub  – www.swarmhub.co.uk/index.php