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An Expression of Interest stage for the second tranche of Tier 2 of the Farm Business Improvement Scheme - Capital (FBIS-C) has been launched by agriculture Minister Edwin Poots.

This tranche of Tier 2, worth up to £12million, will support transformational investment in on-farm projects costing in excess of £30,000. Funding is provided at a grant rate of 40% of eligible costs, with £250,000 the maximum grant available under the FBIS-Capital scheme.

The Minister made the announcement during a visit to the farm of vegetable grower Mr Roy Lyttle in Newtownards, Co.Down, who benefited from the first tranche of Tier 2 of the Farm Business Improvement scheme by construction of a dedicated cold store and covered loading area.

Only those farm businesses which submit an Expression of Interest (EoI) will be eligible to submit a full application for Tier 2 tranche 2 later in the year, and will be invited to training webinars ahead of the application stage.

The Expression of Interest form seeks information on the type of investment planned, approximate total costs and potential time for completion, and must be submitted before 4.00pm on 13 August 2021.

Announcing the Expression of Interest stage, Minister Poots said: “I am pleased to announce the re-opening of Tier 2 FBIS-Capital. In order to gauge the number and range of farmers and growers who are ready to make a significant investment to transform their business, I am inviting potential applicants to submit an Expression of Interest at this stage.

The information received will enable my Department to consider interest in a second tranche of Tier 2 at this time. Therefore this is a mandatory step. I would encourage potential applicants to read the guidance notes online and if they feel they are ready to invest, complete an Expression of Interest form or if necessary contact my Department with any eligibility queries before submitting the form."

Successful applicants under Tier 2 tranche 2 will have a maximum of one year to complete their project. The Expression of Interest stage will help determine the scale and scope of the full application stage for Tier 2 tranche 2.

Further information on the FBIS-C Tier 2 is available on the DAERA website at https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/articles/farm-business-improvement-scheme