Tier 1 offers will be issued before end of January 2017. Successful applicants then have 28 days to sign and return offer forms if they want to proceed for funding for projects under Tier 1 of the FBIS
PETER MCCANN – FARMER’S JOURNAL, NI CORRESPONDENT
Letters of offer to successful applicants to Tier 1 of the capital grant element of the Farm Business Improvement Scheme (FBIS) are on course to be issued before the end of the month, a DAERA Spokesperson has said.
On enquiry by the Irish Farmers Journal, the spokesperson said that the exact number of applicants and the total amount of funding applied for under the first tranche of Tier 1 could not be disclosed at this stage.
“We do not know how many applications will be accepted until we have verified eligibility, processed and scored all applications,” they said.
However, it is known that over 3,500 applications were received for grant funding worth between £2,000 and £12,000 per application, meaning this tranche of funding, worth £7.5m, is oversubscribed.
“It is expected the first letters of offer will issue prior to the end of this month, after which applicants can proceed with their individual projects,” the DAERA spokesperson said.
Successful applicants then have 28 days to sign and return offer forms if they want to proceed. DAERA also has a penalty matrix in place to discourage scheme underspend, and farmers who do not follow through on offers could be excluded from future tranches of FBIS.
Workshops Meanwhile, DAERA Minister Michelle McIlveen has encouraged farmers who are applying for grant funding for projects
over £30,000 in Tier 2 of the FBIS to attend scheme application workshops being held at the three CAFRE campuses this month.
The workshops are delivered across two sessions and focus on the business plan and cashflow calculator elements of the application. However, attendance is not compulsory for applications.
Interested applicants can register for the events through the DAERA website or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (0845) 026 7535.
All applications for this tranche of Tier 2 must be returned before 24 February at 4pm.