NFU Cymru welcomes Welsh Government £20m funding announcement

NFU Cymru members say they are “pleased” with the recent announcement confirming the launch of two funding schemes to support investment in on-farm infrastructure.

£20 million farm infrastructure support schemes were revealed by cabinet secretary for climate change and rural affairs, Huw Irranca-Davies.

The £20 million farm infrastructure support schemes were revealed by cabinet secretary for climate change and rural affairs, Huw Irranca-Davies, on 29th April 2024.  

The package of measures is part of the commitment under co-operation agreement with Plaid Cymru to work with the farming community in the deployment of the regulations to improve water and air quality.  

Both schemes are designed to enable farmers to address nutrient management and storage by providing support for additional slurry storage capacity and/or prevent rainwater entering slurry stores to reduce storage capacity requirement.  

The support has been increased to provide a maximum 50% contribution towards certain project costs. Detailed guidance will be available shortly, with both schemes opening by the summer.  

Support for the industry

NFU Cymru president Aled Jones said: “I am pleased that the £20 million originally committed by Welsh Government in October 2022, to support compliance with the water quality regulations, will be made available through the Nutrient Management Investment Scheme and the Small Grants – Yard Coverings Scheme, that will open for Expressions of Interest shortly.”

NFU Cymru president Aled Jones

Earlier this month, NFU Cymru presented a list of key asks to the Welsh Government in response to the impacts of the wet weather on Welsh agriculture.

Mr Jones added: “In order to build longer term resilience, we asked Welsh Government to bring forward the £20 million previously committed to support farmer compliance with the Control of Agricultural Pollution Regulations.

“This was a message I was able to reiterate when the Cabinet Secretary hosted the Extreme Weather Summit recently.”

Mr Jones added that, given the government’s own 2021 impact assessment highlighted a £360 million industry-wide upfront cost to comply with these regulations, it is crucial that this funding is released without further delay to support the industry.

Need for empathetic and pragmatic approach  

The NFU Cymru president added: “The levels of stress and anxiety within the farming community is a key concern to us, the impact of many months of wet weather, together with concerns over agricultural pollution regulations, future farm policy and animal health issues, has taken its toll on many.   

“The need for an empathetic and pragmatic approach to all those who engage with farmers at this time, is paramount. I was pleased that the Cabinet Secretary, in his words to us at the recent Summit, recognised the importance of this, something that he has repeated in his statement today.”  

Helping farmers build resilience   

Huw Irranca-Davies MS

While announcing the launch of the schemes, the rural affairs secretary said: “Whilst the weather has slightly improved recently, the delayed access to work the land and increasing costs incurred during the extended winter months will have short, medium and long-term impacts.  

“I’m pleased to announce these schemes, which will help farmers build resilience to extreme weather conditions. The funding will also support farmers to reach compliance with our Agricultural Pollution Regulations, which will help improve water quality in our rivers and their tributaries.  

“I would encourage applicants to consider potential investments prior to application windows opening and where appropriate, engage with local planning authorities. Planning and SuDS applications should be submitted as soon as possible; doing this work in advance of an application window does not affect your eligibility to apply.”  

Further details on the schemes will be available at Cymru’s rural grants and payments hub

Read more grant and funding news. 

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