Government grants up to £300,000 are being made available to help farmers grow their businesses and add value to their produce.

Under the new Defra scheme, farms can apply for funding to acquire premises and equipment to process agricultural produce, such as turning potatoes into crisps, milk into cheese or meat into sausages.

Grants will also be available for retail equipment for selling food direct to consumers, including vending machines and display facilities.

Defra has allocated £30m from the Farming Investment Fund for the new scheme, which will offer grants of between £25,000 and £300,000. Applications are open now and will close on 21 July 2022.

To be eligible to apply, a business must be a grower or producer of agricultural products, including livestock, or a business processing agricultural or horticultural products which is at least 50% owned by agricultural or horticultural producers.

Eligible capital items include:

  • Equipment for preparing or processing edible agricultural products for added-value sales.
  • Equipment for second-stage processing of grain, for example colour sorting and blending.
  • Equipment for processing non-edible agricultural products into new products such as flax, hemp, wool, hides and skins.
  • Equipment for retailing eligible agricultural products.
  • Premises for the preparation, processing or storage of added-value agricultural product.

“We want to support the choices that farmers make for their businesses,” said environment secretary George Eustice. “The money announced will support farmers across England with their investment plans, to improve their profitability and productivity.”