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About this Grant Programme
The forestry grant programme has been developed in order to restore regular management to local woods in the Loddon and Test LEADER area. It aims to add value to the development of the timber output, create jobs and develop wood-fuel supply chains. It also aims to invest in the production, processing and marketing of non-timber forest products, particularly wild venison.
Grants are available for between £2,500 and £100,000. 60% match funding required.
Examples of the types of projects we could fund include;
- Purchase of machinery and equipment to help the production, extraction, mobilising, processing and marketing of timber and non-timber products
- Processing, mobilising and marketing of products for new forestry technologies
- Enhancing forestry potential or adding value to forest products by processing, mobilising or marketing
- Supporting the development of wood-fuel supply chains
- Transportation of wood within a forest by specialized forestry equipment, excluding standard transport activities
- Investments in the production, processing and marketing of non-timber forest products, particularly wild venison. This shall include on-holding cold storage and butchery facilities.
Outcomes we expect you to achieve
Below is a list of the sort of outcomes we would hope to see projects achieve. Projects are not expected to deliver on all outcomes, this list provides a form of guidance to applicants. It sets out what makes a project more desirable. A project may only deliver on one outcome, but that may be to such a degree that it outweighs the need to deliver on others. For example, one project may create many jobs, but deliver no further outcomes. Please bear in mind that LEADER is a grant programme that aims to boost the rural economy, therefore job creation and growth are of significant importance. If this is not a direct benefit to the applicant, it should be a benefit to other businesses and the wider rural economy.
- Increased GVA (gross value added)/profits
- Additional direct employment created
- Reduction in carbon emissions
- Improved energy/water use
- Reduction to waste
- More sustainable forestry practices
- More efficient forestry practices
- Beneficial collaboration with other businesses
- Educational opportunities created
- Increased visitors to the forest
- New innovative techniques and/or equipment adopted
When you Need to Apply
We hold Decision Making Panels continually. However, in order for your project to be assessed at any given panel, you must submit your full project application and any supporting documents no less than 10 weeks prior to achieving a decision from us. Should you be successful, you will then be able to start your project once you have heard from us and we have sent you your grant funding agreement. This usually takes between 1 and 4 weeks from the date of the Decision Making Panel.
For further information and a list of Decision Making Panel dates, please refer to the timescales section of this website.
Am I Eligible?
Part 1 – You must be able to answer YES to all of the following questions:-
- Am I a private forest holder or an SME (small, medium sized enterprise – fewer than 250 FTE staff or less than 50 million euros turnover)?
- Am I looking for capital funding only?
- Am I able to match fund the project with 60% of my own funds (in kind or other public body contributions are not permitted)?
- Is your application larger than £2,500 (not including 60% match funding)?
- If purchasing second-hand equipment, can I prove this was not previously purchased using public funds in the last 7 years and has at least 5 useful life remaining?
- Can I cash flow the project 100%? You must make all purchases before receiving the grant. You will receive payment after receipts have been submitted with your claim (claims may take up to 8 weeks to process).
- Will I be able to continue with the project objectives, including maintaining ownership and use of any items purchased for a period of at least 5 years after claiming the grant.
- Are you able to provide 3 years accounts, or for new businesses a financial forecast (if grant requested is under £35k you only need 2 years accounts)?
- If I am a tenant, will I have at least 5 years minimum term remaining on the tenancy agreement from the point of claiming the grant?
- Will your project benefit the wider rural economy and is your project environmentally sustainable?
- For forestry owners, does your woodland have a management plan?
- Will your project enhance forestry potential and/or add value to a woodland or forest products?
- Is your project start date at least 4 months from the date you will send us the full application or is it flexible?
- Will your project be completed within 12 months of receiving a contract grant offer from us?
- If purchasing second-hand equipment, can I prove this was not previously purchased using public funds in the last 7 years and has at least 5 years useful life remaining?
- If applicable, are all consents, permissions and licences in place e.g planning permission?
Part 2 – You must be able to answer NO to all the following questions. Is your application for:-
- A business or individual that has received up to a maximum of 200,000 euros in government funding in the last 3 years?
- A project that comprises routine repairs or maintenance of premises or equipment?
- Like for like replacements?
- Any costs associated with woodland creation or the day to day standard management of the woodland itself?
- Ongoing staff or running costs (including salaries of permanent or fixed term staff)?
- Hard copy marketing material?
- Any costs you incur when putting together your application – including consents such as planning permission, agents fees?
- Any items that you already get EU or national funding for?
- Day to day running costs of any premises (for example utility bills, council tax, rent or insurance)?
- Contingency costs?
- Land or building projects where the ownership or lease is not yet in place?
- Loans, fines or interest payments?
- Costs connected with a leasing contract, such as lessor’s margin, interest refinancing costs, overheads and insurance charges?
- Purchase of equipment that will not be legally owned by you, the applicant, at the time of claiming the grant?
- Activities that will happen or start before we confirm our grant?
- Items that are purchased on behalf of another organisation?
- A project or activity that the state, or your own business, has a legal obligation to provide, or is a standard industry obligation?
- Projects that you cannot maintain due to high ongoing costs, or projects that are not sustainable long-term?
- VAT that you can recover?
- Purchase of hand tools (including chainsaws) and consumables?
- Preparation of a woodland management plan?
- Costs of large scale or industrial processing undertaken by static machinery with an annual processing capacity that is more than 10,000m3?
- Costs of standard transport activities?
- Own labour?
- Licence fees, subscriptions and service charges?
- Feasibility Studies?
- Improvements to your primary/main residential dwelling unit?
- Standard computer and mobile equipment?
- Costs for renewable heat and energy systems covered by the renewable heat incentive (RHI) or Feed-In Tariffs (FITs)?
- A project that will displace economic activity undertaken by other businesses?
Examples of Eligible and Non-Eligible Items
We have created a list to give you some examples of the sorts of items you can claim grants towards. This list is not exhaustive, but gives an idea of what we could fund. We have also provided a list of items that are definitely not eligible. Please click here to download this list: Eligible and Non-Eligible Equipment for Increasing Forestry Productivity
Fit with Local and National Priorities
This grant programme fits within the Loddon and Test Local Priority 4: Improving the financial viability and productivity of forestry through innovation in accessibility and processing, and the development of the market and supply chain (please see page 22 of the Local Development Strategy for further information on this).
It fits the Rural Development Programme National Priority 6: Support for increasing forestry productivity.
LEADER Programme Measures
All projects will need to show which programme measure they fit into. For this grant programme, there is only one measure that could fit.
- Measure 8.6 – Support for investments in processing, mobilising and marketing of forestry products.
Many people find it helpful to look at the sorts of projects we have funded in the past. For a list of projects we funded under this grant programme, please follow the link below. You can then see some examples of successful projects.
Send a Project Enquiry
Sending a Project Enquiry will enable us to give you feedback before you embark on the application process. It does not count towards the scoring of applications, but will mean we can give you advice which may help when you come to apply. Click here to fill out our online Project Enquiry Form.
Submit an Expression of Interest
If you have already chatted to us or you don’t feel you need initial guidance, you can go straight to Stage 2 and complete the Expression of Interest form without the need to submit a Project Enquiry form. Guidance is provided on this website which takes you through the steps on how to complete the Expression of Interest as well as the downloadable form for you to complete. The form must be saved to your computer and then emailed to us. Please click here to start your Expression of Interest.