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Grant funding available for slurry stores and lagoons

11th Apr 2019 / By Ed Barker

The NPA can confirm that grant funding has been made available to pig producers for slurry stores and lagoons. Following a series of conversations with Defra, we are now aware that funding has been made available under the Countryside Stewardship Programme (CSS) capital grant options – with the intention of meeting water quality measures. Here we explain a little bit about the grants and if you may be eligible to apply for them.

What options are available?

CSS is the replacement ELS/HLS scheme in England – covering land management options but also capital works. Capital works tend to focus upon water quality measures, and there are many different options available including slurry store covers, but also concrete yard renewal funding, gateway relocation, livestock shed re-roofing and biobed filters.

The options of interest are self-supporting covers for slurry stores and floating covers for slurry stores and lagoons, offering £30.50 and £5.60 per square metre of funding respectively. You can apply for these options on their own, but you can also apply for other water quality options, as well as the more traditional land management options seen with ELS/HLS in the past – in one big package. The benefit of CSS is that you don’t have to meet arbitrary points targets or anything like that – you simply apply for as much or as little as you like. All of the other options can be found here.

Are you eligible?

Unfortunately not every pig business will be eligible for the cover grants. The reason for this is that Defra are targeting funding only to areas that they deem to be at ‘high risk’ of water pollution – areas that are ‘medium’ risk generally are not covered. In order to find out if you are in a high risk area, simply follow the steps outlined here. You need to consult the Defra maps and check if your farm falls under a ‘red’ area – if so, then you are likely to be eligible. If you are near a border of high and medium risk, then it is still worth checking eligible via Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) officers.

Once you have checked if you in a high priority zone, then your next step is to make contact with your local CSF officer. This is not necessary to the process, but is certainly advised as a CSF endorsement on an application will make the chances of getting a grant much higher. They can also help with advise on other options you could look at applying for on top of the slurry store covers. The list of CSF officers, by catchment, can be found here.

How to apply if you are eligible

Applications for grant funding close on 31 July 2019. After this point, Natural England assess your application and if they are happy with it, they will offer a scheme starting from 1st January 2020. You can also use this time to allow for any permissions or consents you may need.

For the two slurry and lagoon grants shown above you must get consents from:

  • the Environment Agency, to check what is required as new and significantly altered stores may have to meet the silage, slurry and agricultural fuel oil (SSAFO) regulations 2010
  • the local planning authority, to check whether planning permission is required to carry out the planned works

You do not need to provide this with your application, but you will need to submit consents/permissions with your payment claim (which would be May 2020).

The guidebook to the grant schemes can be found here with information on how to apply online or by post.

As ever the NPA is happy to provide any advice on helping to navigate you through the process better – email Ed  for more information or advice.