South Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed new figures which showed that Cumbria has disproportionately gained from a Government scheme to support farmers to improve their businesses.
The Farming and Forestry Improvement Scheme (FFIS) provides small capital grants between £2,500 and £35,000 to farmers, foresters and horticultural businesses to improve their competitiveness. The scheme aims to help businesses become more profitable and resilient, while reducing the impact of farming on the environment, by using resources more efficiently. Funding is awarded to individual projects; as such, the purpose of the funding in each area will vary from project to project.
Under each of the five FFIS themes there are a number of eligible items which attract grant funding. These include livestock handling facilities, cluster flushes, enrichment devices for poultry, heat recovery items, energy efficiency investment in pig houses, rainwater harvesting improvements, slurry separators and injectors, timber processors, wood chippers, forestry forwarders and tractor mounted forestry grabs.
The maximum level of grant has also been increased, in February 2014 to £35,000.
Tim said: "I am a big supporter of this scheme, because I have long believed it would make a positive impact in Cumbria. These figures bare that out. Farmers in Cumbria are using the scheme to turn their most ambitious and innovative business plans into a reality - boosting profits, supporting a thriving rural economy and improving the natural environment. I hope other local farmers will apply for future funding rounds."
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