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Scottish Government expands access to funding support for ILMPs and specialist advice

8 April 2022

Scottish Government has announced a series of changes to funding requirements for access to Integrated Land Management Plans (ILMP) and specialist advice support for farmers, crofters and land managers. The changes are designed to ease access to expert business development support, making it easier for agri businesses to benefit from independent, impartial advice on potential growth opportunities and improvements.

Specialist advice funding available without need for prior ILMP
Access to specialist advice support no longer requires applicants to apply for, or have completed, an ILMP, prior to accessing funding. Farming and crofting businesses can now apply directly for up to £1000 of funding for specialist advice on a range of topics, including new areas covering:

  • Carbon audit action implementation planning – follow up support for businesses who have received a carbon audit and need further advice and support to implement their action plan.
  • Crofter’s plan – a thorough and impartial review of your business by an experienced crofting adviser, resulting in a flexible, tailored advice plan specific to the needs of your crofting business. A crofter’s plan may cover the following elements:
  • Environmental sustainability; opportunities, and risks
  • Business finances
  • Identification of strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for the crofting business
  • Croft legislative status

Free ILMPs for new entrants
As part of the changes to funding, new entrants (businesses operating for 5 years or less), can now apply for up to £1,200 of government funding to cover the full costs of an ILMP. The participating business will only need to pay the VAT element.

An ILMP is designed to provide business owners and managers with clear, practical advice on how best to achieve business goals. Independent and confidential, an adviser will work with you to explore the potential to develop competitive advantage or technical excellence in areas where the business is strong or has growth potential.

Reset of applications cap per business
From 1 April, restrictions on the number of ILMPs and specialist advice reports a single business can undertake will reset. This means farming and crofting businesses who have already completed an ILMP and 2 follow on specialist advice reports, can now apply for the same level of support for a second time round. i.e. apply for a new ILMP and up to a maximum of 2 follow up specialist advice reports.

Whether you’re setting up as a new entrant or have been running an established business for many years, funding support for business development advice could help you improve operational performance and identify opportunities to grow your business further.

Take advantage of free government funding through FAS to realise your business goals.

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