Rural Professional Halls secures LEADER grant funding for cattle handling system 24th May 2018 Halls has recently been successful in achieving 40% grant funding for a full curved cattle handling system, squeeze crush and associated concreting on a Shropshire livestock holding. LEADER funding is available for farmers interested in undergoing projects that will increase farm productivity and offering grants for a wide range of investment. The three main types of projects under the farm productivity priority that could be supported are: A project to improve overall performance and sustainability of an agricultural holding. An investment to support animal health and welfare improvements The processing, marketing and/or development of agricultural products. The minimum grant available is £2,500 and the maximum grant amount is £40,000. Grants are typically limited to a maximum of 40% of the project’s eligible costs. Applications under Priority One for grants could include equipment and machinery to improve livestock handling above “standard equipment”, improvements to livestock housing to improve animal welfare or energy efficiency and improvements to slurry and manure management facilities. LEADER covers a wide range of projects and it is not solely targeted at livestock farmers. Arable farmers could utilise the grant funding for equipment and machinery to reduce impact on soils, such as specialist drills or zero tillage farming, or equipment and machinery to improve the efficiency of the use of water, fertiliser and other direct inputs (i.e. precision farming), amongst a wide range of other things. LEADER funding is separated into different priorities, with Priority One covering improvements in farm productivity. However, funding to support farm diversification is available under Priority Two, which could be used in conjunction with projects such as glamping, farm shops and on-farm sales of products. The funding could cover the costs of starting a new business, purchasing equipment or processing and marketing of agricultural equipment. Funding to increase rural tourism is available under Priority Three, funding for rural services is available under Priority Four. Priority Five covers support for cultural and heritage activity and Priority Six is for support for increasing forestry productivity. The next round for LEADER funding in Shropshire opens on Friday, June 9 and expressions of interest have to be submitted by Friday, July 21. If you are interested in discussing a possible LEADER application under any of the priorities, please contact Ellie Watkins or Josie Nott at Halls’ Kidderminster office on Tel: 01562 820 880.