Small Farms Grant Scheme
This scheme provides grants for small farmers to make improvements to their holdings and help to sustain their businesses.
Funding can be used for capital projects, such as the construction or improvement of agricultural buildings
Funding for eligible capital projects can cover all aspects of the project, including the cost of materials, transportation of materials, costs of contractors and your own labour.
The total amount of grant aid you can apply for in any two year period is:
- individual small farmer: up to £25,000
- groups of small farmers: up to £125,000
- Full scheme guidance
- Breaches and penalties
- Appeals and complaints
Before you apply for this scheme please read the full scheme guidance.
If you have any questions or concerns, please ask us before you submit an application or claim. If you do not follow the scheme rules, you risk losing all or part of any payment you may be entitled to.
If you need any help or assistance to use this guidance, you can book an appointment at your local area office.
Updates in the last month
• 8 June 2017
We've updated the guidance on the maximum limit on expenditure eligible for grant
This scheme is open only to small farmers. Small farmers are defined as those who are:
- head of a holding of between three and thirty hectares
- below any income limit explained in the full guidance.
Registered crofters should apply through the Crofting Agricultural Grant Scheme.
A list of eligible work can be found in the full scheme guidance.
Before you can submit an application, you must first register or re-register with Rural Payments and Services.
You can apply for this scheme at any time but you should only start work or buy materials you need after we have formally approved your application.
If you have already received, or applied for, grant aid from any other public source to support this proposal, you cannot also apply under this scheme.
To apply for this scheme, you should complete the application form and send it to your local area office for assessment.
Before making your application, please consult the Capital Grant Technical Guidance 2015-2020.
If you need a printed form, please ask your area office to send one to you.
Approximately £1 million will be available each year for this scheme until 2020. This is a competitive scheme and each application is scored using the selection criteria explained in the full guidance.
Once that money has been allocated, we will close the scheme to applications until 1 January the next year.
If we have to do this we will tell you on the updates section of this webpage.
You must complete all approved work and submit your claims through the claim form within one year of the date we approved your application to join the scheme.
A claim form will be sent to you if your application is successful.
You can find detailed information about applying and claiming for this scheme in the full scheme guidance.
Claims under this scheme should cover the total cost of your project. The following rates apply depending on your circumstances. We will work out the grant due based on the lower of the eligible costs approved or the actual eligible cost.
Individual small farmers:
- less than 41 years old when they apply: up to 80 per cent of eligible costs in a Less Favoured Area and 60 per cent if outside
- 41 years or older when they apply: up to 60 per cent inside a Less Favoured Area and 40 per cent outside
- including small farmers less than 41 years old when they apply: 90 per cent of eligible costs in a Less Favoured Area and 80 per cent outside
- including small farmers 41 years or older when they apply: 80 per cent in a Less Favoured Area and 60 per cent outside
For groups, an explanation of how this applies to different types of enterprise can be found in the full scheme guidance.
We will make payments after:
- you have completed the approved work
- you have made an eligible claim for payment
- if selected for inspection, we have checked the completed work
We will make payments directly to bank accounts via BACS and aim to pay claims within 90 days of receiving them.
If we find you have not been following the terms of the scheme we will call this a breach and you could face a penalty. It is important that we penalise breaches to make sure we’re acting within European Commission law.
Further information why we need to penalise breaches can be found below.
There is no right of appeal against the refusal of an application but once an application has been approved, you can appeal against decisions to refuse, reduce or recover grant payment.
When we send you a letter with a decision that you can appeal against, we will tell you about your rights of appeal.
If you are unhappy about the standard of service you have received, you may wish to complain.
Further information on how to appeal and complain about our services can be found in our dedicated sections.
If you have any questions about this scheme, please get in touch. Contact details can be found in our Contact us section.
Full scheme guidanceFull guidance
This scheme is delivered through: