The UK government has pledged to increase tree planting rates in England by three times its current levels by 2025. This legally-binding target means approximately 16.5% of all land should be forest and woodland by 2050, but recent research suggests England is only at 13%.
To help reach this target, the UK government is placing more focus and support on increasing tree planting and seed and sapling production. The Tree Production Capital Grant (TPCG) provides financial support to any farmer or nursery that can help the government meet this target.
The grant is available in stages, yet many English farmers are missing out on crucial funding they could access using the simple 1-step application process.
If you are interested in the TPCG, here’s what you need to know.
What is the tree production capital grant?
With the target of tripling tree production over the coming years, the UK government is offering financial support to reach the final target in 2050 of 16.5% of total land as forest.
The Tree Production Capital Grant will cover up to half of a project’s cost if the project helps increase the number of trees, seeds and saplings or improves the quality, diversity and biosecurity of British woodlands.
Funding is available in various rounds to ensure more farmers have the opportunity to diversify and qualify for funding. This grant is only available to farmers with operations in England, those located in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland have their own policies and funds.
You can find out more about each country here:
What does the tree production grant cover?
As with many government grants, the funding can only be used to cover specific projects. The tree production grant can be used for the following:
- Transplanting systems
- Grading machines
- Polytunnel infrastructure and irrigation systems
- Seeding trays
- Water treatment systems
- Refrigeration equipment
The grant will cover equipment to improve, expand, or automate operations to increase the English seed and sapling supply. But it won’t cover items such as staff training or consumables such as compost or fertilizer.
Furthermore, it can cover up to 50% of a project’s costs, up to a total of £175,000 per project. Farmers should be prepared to pay the remaining 50% the grant will not cover – a finance broker may be able to offer effective ways to raise this 50%.
Accessing The Grant
As with many UK government agricultural grants, the deadlines vary, and new waves of funding are announced once previous funds have been allocated. This means farmers should be continually checking for new grants.
Just because one deadline has passed, it doesn’t mean further funding won’t be available soon.
The amount of funding will vary depending on each farm’s specific situation and the available funds. The most recent Tree Production Capital Grant totalled £5.1m divided up across the UK. Any farm can apply for up to 50% of a project to be covered by the grant.
During the application process, projects will be split into two categories: projects costing under £100,000 (Steam A) or projects costing over £100,000 (Stream B).
The grant qualifying criteria have changed over the years, in general, projects under £10,000 are not considered, meaning smaller replanting projects do not qualify for this grant – although this figure may change between different funding rounds in the future.
The application process is surprisingly simple, with only one stage.
During this single-stage application, farmers will have to provide details on the project’s finances and give information on how the funding will support the quantity, quality, biodiversity and biosecurity of the trees, saplings and nearby wildlife.
To access the funding, bids will be evaluated on how much it will help the wildlife, farm and soil. The more defined the benefits, the higher the chance a project will successfully access funds.
The grant is open to any existing seed or sapling supplier, as well as farmers, private or public sector nurseries, or NGOs looking to diversify into the industry.
Get Additional Financial Support
Alongside the Tree Production Capital Grant, the UK government offers financial support and grants to help UK farmers become more sustainable and environmentally friendly such as the Tree Production Innovation Fund.
Applying for these grants and other types of financial aid can be overwhelming, especially for hard-working farmers.
Specialist forestry brokers and lenders can help farmers identify what support they might qualify for and help with the application process. When your farm funds are limited, these types of companies can provide bespoke, personalised loans designed to fit with a farm’s production cycles.
For more information on the Tree Production Capital Grant and other forms of agricultural financial support, contact our team today. We can help ensure you are ready to take advantage of upcoming grants and provide the initial funding to help you diversify and to reach your goals.