Increasing Forestry Productivity – Am I Eligible?

About this Grant Programme

The forestry grant programme has been developed in order to restore regular management to local woods in the Plain Action and Vale Action LEADER areas. It aims to add value to the development of the timber output, create jobs and develop wood-fuel supply chains. It also aims to invest in the production, processing and marketing of non-timber forest products, particularly wild venison.

Grants are available for between £5,000 and £100,000.  40% match funding required.

Examples of the types of projects we could fund include;

  • Purchase of machinery and equipment to help the production, extraction, mobilising, processing and marketing of timber and non-timber products
  • Processing, mobilising and marketing of products for new forestry technologies
  • Enhancing forestry potential or adding value to forest products by processing, mobilising or marketing
  • Supporting the development of wood-fuel supply chains
  • Transportation of wood within a forest by specialized forestry equipment, excluding standard transport activities
  • Investments in the production, processing and marketing of non-timber forest products, particularly wild venison. This shall include on-holding cold storage and butchery facilities.

Outcomes we expect you to achieve

Below is a list of the sort of outcomes we would hope to see projects achieve. Projects are not expected to deliver on all outcomes, this list provides a form of guidance to applicants. It sets out what makes a project more desirable. A project may only deliver on one outcome, but that may be to such a degree that it outweighs the need to deliver on others. For example, one project may create many jobs, but deliver no further outcomes. Please bear in mind that LEADER is a grant programme that aims to boost the rural economy, therefore job creation and growth are of significant importance. If this is not a direct benefit to the applicant, it should be a benefit to other businesses and the wider rural economy.

  • Increased GVA (gross value added)/profits
  • Additional direct employment created
  • Reduction in carbon emissions
  • Improved energy/water use
  • Reduction to waste
  • More sustainable forestry practices
  • More efficient forestry practices
  • Beneficial collaboration with other businesses
  • Educational opportunities created
  • Increased visitors to the forest
  • New innovative techniques and/or equipment adopted
When you Need to Apply

We hold Decision Making Panels every two months. In order for your project to be assessed at any given panel, you must submit your full project application and any supporting documents no less than one month prior to the panel date you wish to make. Should you be successful, you will then be able to start your project once you have heard from us and we have sent you your grant funding agreement. This usually takes up to four weeks from the date of the Decision Making Panel.

For further information and a list of Decision Making Panel dates, please refer to the Management Group meeting dates on the Vale Action or Plain Action Board section of this website.

Am I Eligible?

Part 1 – You must be able to answer YES to all of the following questions:-

  • Am I a private forest holder or an SME (small, medium sized enterprise – fewer than 250 FTE staff or less than 50 million euros turnover)?
  • Am I looking for capital funding only?
  • Am I able to match fund the project with 40% of my own funds (in kind or other public body contributions are not permitted)?
  • Is my application larger than £5,000 (not including 40% match funding)?
  • If purchasing second-hand equipment, can I prove this was not previously purchased using public funds in the last 7 years and has at least 5 useful life remaining?
  • Can I cash flow the project 100%? I must make all purchases before receiving the grant. I will receive payment after receipts have been submitted with my claim (claims may take up to 8 weeks to process).
  • Will I be able to continue with the project objectives, including maintaining ownership and use of any items purchased for a period of at least 5 years after claiming the grant.
  • Am I able to provide 3 years accounts, or for new businesses a financial forecast (if grant requested is under £35k I will only need 2 years accounts)?
  • If I am a tenant, will I have at least 5 years minimum term remaining on the tenancy agreement from the point of claiming the grant?
  • Will my project benefit the wider rural economy and is my project environmentally sustainable?
  • For forestry owners, does my woodland have a management plan?
  • Will my project enhance forestry potential and/or add value to a woodland or forest products?
  • Is my project start date at least 4 months from the date I will send the full application or is it flexible?
  • Will my project be completed within 12 months of receiving a contract grant offer?
  • If purchasing second-hand equipment, can I prove this was not previously purchased using public funds in the last 7 years and has at least 5 years useful life remaining?
  • If applicable, are all consents, permissions and licences in place e.g planning permission?

Part 2 – You must be able to answer NO to all the following questions. Is your application for:-

  • A business or individual that has received up to a maximum of 200,000 euros in government funding in the last 3 years?
  • A project that comprises routine repairs or maintenance of premises or equipment?
  • Like for like replacements?
  • Any costs associated with woodland creation or the day to day standard management of the woodland itself?
  • Ongoing staff or running costs (including salaries of permanent or fixed term staff)?
  • Hard copy marketing material?
  • Any costs I incur when putting together my application – including consents such as planning permission, agents fees?
  • Any items that I already get EU or national funding for?
  • Day to day running costs of any premises (for example utility bills, council tax, rent or insurance)?
  • Contingency costs?
  • Land or building projects where the ownership or lease is not yet in place?
  • Loans, fines or interest payments?
  • Costs connected with a leasing contract, such as lessor’s margin, interest refinancing costs, overheads and insurance charges?
  • Purchase of equipment that will not be legally owned by me, the applicant, at the time of claiming the grant?
  • Activities that will happen or start before the grant is confirmed?
  • Items that are purchased on behalf of another organisation?
  • A project or activity that the state, or my own business, has a legal obligation to provide, or is a standard industry obligation?
  • Projects that I cannot maintain due to high ongoing costs, or projects that are not sustainable long-term?
  • VAT that I can recover?
  • Purchase of hand tools (including chainsaws) and consumables?
  • Preparation of a woodland management plan?
  • Costs of large scale or industrial processing undertaken by static machinery with an annual processing capacity that is more than 10,000m3?
  • Costs of standard transport activities?
  • Own labour?
  • Licence fees, subscriptions and service charges?
  • Feasibility Studies?
  • Improvements to my primary/main residential dwelling unit?
  • Standard computer and mobile equipment?
  • Costs for renewable heat and energy systems covered by the renewable heat incentive (RHI) or Feed-In Tariffs (FITs)?
  • A project that will displace economic activity undertaken by other businesses?
Examples of Eligible and Non-Eligible Items

Please call us in the first instance to discuss your project to double-check what is eligible or non-eligible.

Fit with Local and National Priorities

Local Priority

This grant programme fits within the Plain Action and Vale Action Local Priority 5: Increase the economic return from woodland or forestry in the area.

National Priority

It fits the Rural Development Programme National Priority 6: Support for increasing forestry productivity.

LEADER Programme Measures

All projects will need to show which programme measure they fit into. For this grant programme, there is only one measure that could fit.

  • Measure 8.6 – Support for investments in processing, mobilising and marketing of forestry products.