RPA announces no limits on capital grants for previously restricted projects

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has updated its rules on the Countryside Stewardship Capital Grants for 2023, with a major announcement regarding payment limits.

Historically, there have been 3 categories of Schemes for which funding could be received from the RPA, each with a grant limit of £20,000 and a total ceiling of £60,000. The latest update introduced an additional group of Schemes with no limit of grant funding for capital items across all four new categories:

  • boundaries, trees and orchards
  • water quality
  • air quality
  • natural flood management

A new offer – CS Higher Tier Capital Grants – has been introduced, offering 3-year agreements for capital items which deliver additional environmental benefits without the need for a CS Higher Tier agreement. Land in a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) is now eligible for capital items if the land is already covered by an existing CS or Environmental Stewardship (ES) agreement.

H&H Land & Estates, Farm Business and Environmental Advisor, Chris Gill, says the updates are good news for farmers and landowners struggling to adjust to the Government’s environmentally focused support for the farming industry.

“This update from the RPA could mean that some larger projects may now be feasible through getting a Standalone Capital Grant. Some farm business may have been waiting to enter into a new Countryside Stewardship Mid-Tier for these larger projects, but now that isn’t necessary. In the current climate of uncertainty I would advise farmers to get in touch with your agent or local office without delay and find out if there is anything which could be eligible for funding on your farm.”