In a few weeks’ time, there will be an opportunity to apply for Round 2 of the Improving Farm Productivity grant. The grant is part of the Farming Investment Fund and pays towards capital items including robotic, automatic and solar equipment that improve farm and horticulture productivity. The application process splits the grant into two separate categories:

  1. Farm Productivity  – the use of robotic and automated equipment and systems to aid crop and livestock production. The grant will cover up to 40% of the cost of eligible items. The minimum grant available is £25,000 with the maximum grant available at £500,000. This will enable projects valued between £62,500 and £1.25m.
  2. Solar – the installation of solar equipment to increase energy resilience and the take-up of renewable energy generation on farm. The grant will cover up to 25% of the cost of eligible items. The minimum grant available is £15,000, with the maximum grant being £100,000. The grant will therefore be able to fund solar projects which have a total cost of between £60,000 and £400,000.

Both landowners and tenant farmers can apply but the project must be on land you own or farm as a tenant.  You can apply for both automated and robotic equipment and solar equipment, but the maximum grant across all submitted applications is £500,000 in total, per applicant business.

The grant can be used to pay for the following items:

  • Robotic technology
  • Automatic technology
  • Harvesting technology (robotic or automatic)
  • Weeding technology (robotic or automatic)
  • Robotic spraying technology
  • Driverless tractors or platforms (robotic only)
  • Voluntary robotic milking system
  • Feeding robots
  • Transplanting technology (robotic or automatic)
  • Slurry robot (robotic only)
  • Other robotic or automated technology
  • Advanced ventilation control units
  • Wavelength specific LED lighting for horticultural crops
  • Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems (installed on farm buildings, not residential property)

Round 1 of the grant included slurry acidification equipment, however this has now been removed from Round 2.

The first step to apply will be an online checker, which is expected to open in January and run until March. As before, the funding is competitive with this round being scored.

The summary above is by no means exhaustive.

If you are interested in applying and would like assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our specialist grants team on 01684 853400 or email