Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme (SACGS)

Date published: 7 September, 2020

The Agricultural Transformation Programme (ATP) was announced in Programme for Government 2019-2020 to promote changes in the Scottish Agricultural sector to meet challenging Climate Change targets.

The Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme (SACGS) provides grant funding for farmers and crofters to purchase specific items of agricultural equipment.

This is a pilot grant scheme. The scheme opens for applications on Monday 7th of September 2020 and closes to applications midnight Sunday 11th of October 2020.

The main objectives/expected outcomes of the scheme is to:

  • protecting and improving the natural environment
  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions from farming operations
  • support sustainable farming
  • support sustainable land use

The capital items that can be applied for through the SACGS have been chosen for their effectiveness in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as well supporting sustainable farming, by improving land and livestock management.

The Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme will offer grants based on standard costs. The use of standard costs will reduce the burden on farmers and crofters as they are not be required to submit quotes with applications. This approach will provide a more straightforward application for farmers, crofters and SGRPID.

State Aid

Aid will be awarded through Article 14 (Aid for investments in tangible assets or intangible assets on agricultural holdings linked to primary agricultural production) of the Agricultural Block Exemption Regulation (EU) No 702/2014 of 25 June 2014 and adheres to the conditions stipulated in the regulation, specifically Article 4. Notification (Thresholds) and Article 8 (Cumulation). Aid awarded under this scheme will not be cumulated with aid awarded under another scheme (article 8).

Under this scheme the capital items supported achieve the agri-environmental-climate objectives (Art.14 3 (d)). Therefore grant awards will be based on 50% of the standard cost. Applicants in the Highlands and Islands (HIE area) will receive a higher grant rate of 60% (in acknowledgement of the higher cost involved with transporting goods to these areas).

Application process

  • 1. Applicant considers suitable capital items that will deliver the most significant Greenhouse Gas emission savings on their farm/croft;
  • 2. Applicant submits application;
  • 3. Application processed and grant offer issued;
  • 4. Signed acceptance of offer received;
  • 5. Approval letter and claim form issued;
  • 6. Applicant purchases and receives equipment;
  • 7. Applicant submits claim form with proof of purchase and payment;
  • 8. Grant is paid

Eligibility criteria

All Scottish farmers and crofters with a Business Reference Number (BRN) can apply for the Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme.

Each capital item will deliver specific benefits and each item will be allocated a certain number of “green points” based upon how much they deliver on the key scheme objectives of reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions taking into account wider benefits.

The total score each application achieves will help us prioritise funding if the scheme is over subscribed. Prioritising grant support to applications that deliver the best outcomes for the aims of the scheme.

Farmers and crofters who have completed a carbon audit and/or a nutrient management plan, and/or a veterinary health plan before 1 March 2020 but after 1 March 2017 will be credited with bonus “green points” if they have applied for items associated with the audit/plan they have. This is to give recognition to the fact that they are already taking positive actions to identify the potential sources of greenhouse gas emissions and the mitigating measures that they can undertake to reduce their carbon footprint, whilst also improving their overall operational efficiency.

The maximum amount a single farm/croft business can receive through SACGS is £20,000.

Application and Payment process

The application and claims process will use a simple electronic form that can be emailed back to RPID once completed. There is no requirement to supply estimates with application forms but we will require copies of carbon audit and/or a nutrient management plan, and/or a veterinary herd health plan to verify eligibility for additional “green points”.

We will require farmers and crofters to supply proof of purchase and payment (invoice and bank statement) when they submit their claim to verify the amount paid for a specific item. If an invoice/amount paid is less than the standard cost we will reduce the grant to the lesser amount. (but will not increase the award if the invoiced amount is greater than the standard cost).

For example, if the standard cost is £7,500, but the actual amount paid is £7,000, we would pay 50% of £7,000 (or 60% if business is located in the Highlands and Islands).

We will inspect claims before the grant payment is made, or up to five years (this will be carried out when RPID inspectors are on farms for other inspections). This is to ensure that the Grant is being properly used in accordance with the terms of the scheme and for monitoring and evaluation purposes.

Payments will be made in GBP direct to farmers and crofters bank accounts registered with RPID.

These are State Aid, audit and compliance requirements.

To complete the application form you will need to have installed Adobe (or have downloaded the Adobe app on your phone or tablet). You can download this software free online or from your app store.

Download the form by holding on the link, select download linked file, then open the adope app, select open file and select the application form.