A new service has been launched to support groups of farmers to apply for the Sustainable Management Scheme (SMS). The SMS offers grants of up to £700,000 for collaborative groups looking to improve the management of natural resources and in doing so contribute to the well-being of rural communities.
The support service will be delivered by Menter a Busnes under the flagship Farming Connect Programme on behalf of the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020, which is funded by the European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.
Fifteen facilitators have been selected to provide support for groups of farmers to develop their ideas and to submit their expression of interest to Welsh Government. If groups are successful at the EOI stage and invited to submit a full proposal, the facilitator will be available to provide further support.
Eirwen Williams, Menter a Busnes Director said “This service will provide farmers with guidance and information as they develop their project ideas. Sometimes the process of applying for funding can seem rather daunting but with this service a facilitator will be at hand to provide continued support.”
Examples of successful projects in the past are the Eden Catchment programme which is a farmer led project centred on the improvement of the river Eden catchment by planting and managing native deciduous trees; and the Fferm Ifan project, a cooperation of 11 farmers who are implementing new targeted land management actions which will also deliver socio-economic benefits.
Profiles of facilitators can be seen on the Farming Connect website, and farmers can choose the facilitator that best suit their needs.
Interested farmers should contact the Farming Connect Service Centre on 0845 6000 813 or apply on-line by clicking here.