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Up to £25,000 (or £125,000 for groups) is available for registered owner-occupier and tenant (or official sub-tenant) crofters who live within 20 miles (32 km) of their croft to make improvements to their crofts and help to sustain their business through the Crofting Agricultural Grant (CAGS).
CAGS provides grants for crofters to make improvements to their crofts and help to sustain their business. Applicants need to demonstrate how the improvements to their crofts will reduce production costs, improve quality, and preserve and improve the natural environment, hygiene conditions, and animal welfare standards.
Some examples of capital projects which can be funded include the construction or improvement of agricultural buildings and yards; drainage; livestock handling equipment and facilities; improved grassland management and up to £500 towards the establishment of Common Grazing Committees, although this is not a comprehensive list. The provision or improvement of water supplies, mains electricity connections or electricity generators and access tracks to land improvement areas, roads, bridges, culverts, or boat slops may also be funded. However,
any application to replace an existing asset will only be eligible if it is classed as derelict i.e. no longer serviceable or fulfilling its function and incapable of being repaired or maintained. It is expected that any item purchased or constructed with CAGS funding will have a viable lifespan of at least three years and work will be complete within 12 months of receiving confirmation of a successful application.
Funding for eligible capital projects can cover all aspects of the project including the cost of materials, transportation of materials, costs of contractors and your own labour (which is linked to Agricultural Wages Board rates and timesheets). The value of grant funding available to applicants is age dependent, with those under 41 years of age at date of application and having set up as head of business within the previous five years eligible for
80% of approved costs in Less Favoured Areas (LFAs) and 60% of approved costs in non-LFA. Any applicants not falling into this young crofter category will only receive 60% of costs in LFAs and 40% in non-LFAs.
In addition to the application form, two or three competitive quotes should be supplied, Additional supporting
documentation may be needed depending on your project which may include maps, architectural drawings, or plans, planning permission and permits. Also, some projects need consultation or approval from NatureScot, SEPA, and/or Forestry and Land Scotland before you apply and start work.
All applications are scored against several criteria including the viability of your business and the croft, need for the project, sustainability of the project and farm business and compliance with statutory minimum standards regarding the environment, hygiene, and animal welfare. An agricultural officer from local area office will also visit to discuss proposal in more detail.
Full scheme guidance can be found here: https://www.ruralpayments.org/topics/all-schemes/crofting-agricultural-grant-scheme/
In addition, up to £28,000 or £38,000, depending on whether the site is a standard or high priority area, is available under the Croft House Grant for the construction of new traditional construction or timber-framed houses and the rebuilding and improvement of existing houses for tenant or owner-occupier crofters. Applicants need
to demonstrate that they need to live on the croft because of the type of agricultural or non-agricultural activities undertaken or proposed or that their current accommodation is not of an adequate standard or sufficient for them and their immediate family which includes those living with their parents or in rented accommodation. More details on this scheme can be found here https://www.ruralpayments.org/topics/all-schemes/croft-house-grant/.
For advice on applying for either of these schemes, contact your local RPID office https://www.ruralpayments.org/topics/contact-us/ or agricultural consultant.
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