Date published: 14 February, 2024
For recent changes to this guidance, please see the bottom of the page.
The aim of this item is to improve water quality and help mitigate climate change by ensuring sufficient slurry storage capacity is available on a farm for the equivalent livestock units.
This will allow the plant nutrients within the slurry to be used more efficiently and reduce the need for inorganic fertilisers, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the potential for the leaching of nutrients to water.
The Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021 transition period concludes on 1 January 2026. From that date all businesses that produce slurry by housed livestock must have sufficient slurry storage capacity to store the total quantity of slurry likely to be produced in 26 weeks by housed pigs or 22 weeks by housed cattle.
Due to the length of time required for application to completed store, it will not be feasible to offer the slurry storage option under AECS after the 2024 round to meet the 1 January 2026 end of transition date.
Although the Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021 state the minimum storage capacity for cattle is 22 weeks, AECS requires you to provide 26 weeks storage for cattle slurry to ensure resilience against increasing rainfall due to climate change.
- This option is not available in areas that are designated as Nitrate Vulnerable Zones
- Grant aid is not available for slatted tanks.
This option can only be used to bring current storage capacity up to 6 months, based on the animals currently housed on a slurry based system. It cannot be used to fund additional storage for planned future enterprise expansion. The business decisions surrounding that expansion should have considered the additional slurry storage requirement as an integral part of the expansion plan.
This option cannot be used to facilitate a change from a straw based system to a slurry based one.
- The holding must currently have livestock on a slurry-based system
- The business must not have previously received funding for slurry storage under AECS on any of the production units farmed by it.
- Businesses that were previously supported under Rural Priorities from the 2007 – 2013 Scottish Rural Development Programme for slurry storage that are not in areas designated as Nitrate Vulnerable Zones may apply to AECS for additional storage from the 2024 round. However priority for support will be given to businesses which have not previously received slurry storage funding. As such, if slurry storage applications are over-subscribed against the available budget, those businesses previously funded under RP may not be successful in being awarded an AECS contract.
Slurry storage is available throughout Scotland out with designated Nitrate Vulnerable Zones
You can check if this item is available on your holding using the search targeting tool which can be found on any of the following AECS guidance pages:
Applicants must prepare a Manure & Slurry management plan / storage calculation and a drainage plan for the steading in accordance with the supporting guidance for this item. The templates for these documents are in slurry storage supporting guidance.
The manure & slurry management plan must identify all sources of dirty water and slurry at the steading and this must be presented on a map or diagrams within the plan. The manure & slurry management plan should identify the additional storage capacity that is required in order to provide six months slurry storage, including identifying any actions that are required to minimise the production of dirty water. The final storage capacity required must take account of the identified actions to minimise the production of dirty water being implemented.
A slurry storage calculator has been developed to assist you in the production of your manure and slurry management plan. The calculator and guidance can be accessed from the links below. To provide uniformity of information, a common application standard and to aid the application assessment process, we will only accept applications that have used the provided slurry storage calculator.
- New or enlarged slurry storage facilities must meet the building design requirements of Schedule 2 of The Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021.
- You must notify SEPA no later than 30 days prior to commencing the works. The notification must be accompanied by an engineering plan for the works to be carried out,
- Steps must be taken to avoid unnecessarily collecting clean water within the slurry storage facilities, as demonstrated via the steading drainage plan
- Where funding is used to replace an existing store which has been built prior to 1 September, 1991, the old store must be removed unless it can be demonstrated that the store meets the requirements of The Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021.
- On completion of the works, a minimum of six months slurry storage capacity must be achieved across the holding. Note: Scottish Rural Development Programme funding cannot be used to create storage capacity beyond six months
- Any slurry lagoons must be fenced to protect people and livestock
- All slurry storage systems using a propriety liner must ensure the liner meets the requirements of The Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021
- Any slurry storage system with walls made of earth, such as a lagoon, must be lined with an impermeable sheet material* which, with proper maintenance, slurry cannot penetrate for a period of at least 20 years.
*an "impermeable sheet material" means— (a) synthetic rubbers, EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber) and butyl, (b) plastics, including polyvinyl chloride, low density polyethylene and high density polyethylene, and (c) reinforced geomembranes;
- Planning permission, if applicable should be obtained (see supporting guidance for further detail).
- Building warrants must be obtained.
- On competition the works must be signed off by an engineer and the engineer’s sign-off certificate must be retained for inspection by SEPA on request.
Timing of work
Note that successful applicants to AECS Slurry Storage in 2024 will be issued with contracts from May 2024. The expectation is that work must be completed and claimed by the 31 March 2025. There is no ability to defer the work to a future financial year. Applicants must consider their ability to substantially complete the work before 31 March 2025 before applying for slurry storage.
In recognition that the build period is short the same flexibility with build and claim period offered to successful AECS 2023 slurry storage applicants will also be available to successful 2024 slurry storage applicants
Slurry storage projects that will not be completed by the 31st of March 2025 but have been substantially started will be able to submit interim claims where the following conditions are met:
For ancillary items
• The items have been purchased within the deadline but may not yet be installed and operational on farm. Demonstrable by invoice and bank statements confirming transaction along with photographs of the items in question.
For slurry storage facilities
• The construction works have been substantially started (by that we mean that the works already completed are equal to or exceed the value on the schedule of works titled “Slurry storage created to bring the capacity up to 6 months” Demonstrable by contractor invoice for staged payments and bank statements confirming transaction along with the provision of photographs showing work completed to date).
• This would mean that the claims were interim in name only as the values claimed would be the final values from the schedule of works which ultimately would be paid.
• Commitment to supply a copy of engineers certificate for completed structure upon completion of build.
This flexibility is provided on the basis that the project is ultimately completed to the required standard by the end of September 2025. If the project is not completed or found not to be up to standard when it is completed, then RPID reserve the right to recover the grant funding paid out in part or in full.
Payments will be based on the following standard costs:
- £20 per cubic metre capacity created. Funding will be restricted to a maximum 2000 cubic metres of storage
- Associated equipment for above-ground storage tanks:
- base drainage sealed pipe assembly to external discharge including double lockable sluice valves: £1250
- galvanised ladder and platform: £1100
- fixed over-rim riser pipe with jetting nozzle and terminal connection: £1900
- Tractor-driven slurry pump and associated pipe, assemblies and connections with shaft and mountings: £4000
- Below-ground reception tank with cover lid: £235 per cubic metre (restricted to a maximum size of 36 cubic metres)
Note: Successful applicants from the islands can expect a 10% uplift on the above rates for slurry storage and slurry ancillary equipment.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency inspector will check:
- New or enlarged slurry storage facilities meet the building design requirements of The Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021
- The volume of the additional storage provided
- Any ancillary equipment, such as sluice valves, ladders, reception tanks and slurry pumps
- Slurry lagoons are fenced to protect people and livestock
- The works were notified to SEPA 30 days prior to construction commencing and the engineer’s sign off certificate is present
- Building warrants have been obtained, where applicable
|New section – introducing requirements of the Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021
|Clarification that previous recipients of funding for slurry storage under Rural Priorities from the 2007 – 2013 Scottish Rural Development Programme are now eligible to apply to AECs slurry storage.
|Slurry storage is available throughout Scotland out with designated Nitrate Vulnerable Zones
|Clarification that we will only accept applications that have used the provided slurry storage calculator for slurry production and storage calculations.
|Clarification on where pre 1991 stores need to be removed. New information on planning permission process
|Timing of work
|Flexibility of build and claim period.
|Rate per m3 increases to £20/m3. Successful applicants from the islands can expect a 10% uplift on the above rates for slurry storage and slurry ancillary equipment
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