Rural grants
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Hodgson Rural Consultancy

Rural Grant Schemes

There are a number of grant schemes available for rural businesses which aim to improve environmental management, preserve historical features, increase efficiency and create new jobs. The schemes are incredibly flexible and are available for a wide range of business types, whether it be agriculture, tourism or manufacturing. With our knowledge in this area we are able to identify opportunities for your business where grant funding could be used and assist you through the application and implementation phases. 

In an agricultural setting these grants can be extremely useful to support a diversification project and should be considered well in advance of work being undertaken.

Catchment Sensitive Farming

The Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) grant is a national scheme which is targeted to priority river catchments to reduce diffuse pollution to both surface water and ground water sources. A maximum grant of £10,000 is available for each farming business and a wide range of items can be funded. These typically include:

  • Water course fencing
  • Livestock drinking bays
  • Concrete yard renewal
  • Cattle tracks
  • Roofing of livestock gathering area
  • Pesticide wash down area
  • Covers for slurry stores

The grant is highly competitive and priority catchments may change on an annual basis so please call in advance of an application to confirm that the grant is still available in your area.

Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)

The Heritage Lottery Fund is a UK wide grant scheme that aims to sustain and transform a wide range of heritage types through the investment in innovative projects and is the largest dedicated funder with an average of £375 million awarded each year. The grant has traditionally only been available for charities and not for profit organisations but this has recently changed with the introduction of the Our Heritage stream, this provides funding of up to £100,000 for private landowners.

The fund is able to support an incredibly diverse range of projects provided that they fall within the following themes:

  • People’s memories and experiences (often recorded as ‘oral history’ or spoken history)
  • Histories of people and communities (including people who have migrated to the UK)
  • Languages and dialects
  • Cultural traditions such as stories, festivals, crafts, music, dance and costumes
  • Histories of places and events
  • Historic buildings and streets
  • Archaeological sites
  • Collections of objects, books or documents in museums, libraries or archives
  • Natural and designed landscapes and gardens
  • Natural heritage, including habitats, species and geology
  • Places and objects linked to our industrial, maritime and transport history

Due to the wide range of funding streams within the HLF programme and the particular requirements within each, please call in advance of submitting a project proposal to talk through its eligibility.

Farming and Forestry Improvement Scheme

The Farming and Forestry Improvement Scheme (FFFIS) is a national initiative that is open to all rural business types, whether it be agriculture or manufacturing. Its primary objective is to improve business competitiveness and efficiencies by providing funding for “game changing” technologies that may not be economically viable without grant support. The grant focuses on 5 principle themes which are:

  • Nutrient management;
  • Energy efficiency;
  • Water management;
  • Animal health and welfare
  • Forestry

In the last round a maximum of £35,000 could be claimed per holding and only items listed in the Applicant Handbook are eligible for funding. Grant rates vary between 15% and 50% depending on the item and applicant location. Typical items include:

  • Vacuum on demand systems for milking parlours including variable speed motors
  • Slurry separator
  • Trailing shoe system for existing slurry tankers or umbilical system
  • Storage tanks, storage ponds and reservoirs specifically for the storage of harvested water
  • Sheep weigh crates with electronic segregation system
  • Forestry trailers and cranes
  • Self-propelled wood chippers

Although the scheme is linked to the existing RDPE funding stream it is anticipated that it will continue after January 2015.


The LEADER initiative is a mechanism to distribute funds from the Rural Development Programme to rural businesses through Local Action Groups (LAG). Each LAG has prioritised issues within the rural community which are limiting economic growth and could be improved through government investment. The range of projects that can be funded vary from LAG to LAG but they typically include farm diversification schemes, technology improvement (manufacturing/processing), community projects and enhancement to tourism. It is a Europe-wide scheme but the level of funding will depend upon your LAG group. Please call to discuss whether your project has the potential to receive LEADER funding.    

Other Funding Sources

In addition to the funding streams described above there are a number of other opportunities that are available from private sources such as environmental trusts, landfill taxes and aggregate extraction taxes. The funds can again support a wide range of projects but they are location specific and often have individual requirements. If you have a project in mind please call to discuss your proposal and enquire about grant funding in your area.   

Contact us

Hodgson Rural Consultancy

27 Dukes Orchard




TEL : 07701 005537