RDP support for the land based sector from Welsh Government

Yesterday the deputy minister for farming and food Rebecca Evans confirmed the WG commitment, and gave details, of the next phase of RDP support for the land based sector.

"The Welsh Government Rural Communities scheme supports a wide range of investments designed to increase the sustainability and resilience of our natural environment, land-based sector, food businesses and communities.

"More than £400 million of Welsh Government funding has been allocated to this programme over its lifetime. We have made good progress on this and many WGRC schemes have already opened, despite us only receiving EU approval some seven months ago, making more than £200m available primarily to farmers and foresters in Wales.

"We are also supporting the fishing and aquaculture industries which make an important contribution to Welsh coastal communities. The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, worth nearly 15 million euros to the Welsh economy, plus a share of up to 5 million euros for data collection, is designed to drive the sustainable development of our fisheries and aquaculture businesses, helping industry to adjust to the reformed Common Fisheries Policy and to provide support to Government and partners to meet our enforcement and data collection requirements. There will be more details on this opening over the coming weeks.  

"These programmes have been developed to focus on jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness - in Wales and for Wales. I hope you will all continue to help us shape the WGRC and EMFF for today and the future." 

The Deputy Minister announced she is making the following schemes available within the next month:

- The launch of the Sustainable Management Scheme to support collaborative landscape scale projects to deliver actions that improve our natural resources and delivers real benefits to farms, rural businesses and local communities.

- A further Expression of Interest (EOI) window for the Food Business Investment scheme worth £14m to open on 29th February.

- A second window for the Sustainable Production Grant, with a budget of £6m, three times the size of first window.

- Another EOI window for the Rural Community Development fund, which aims to tackle poverty in rural communities, worth £4m.

- A further £2.3m available for the Glastir Woodland Creation scheme as well as another £1m for Glastir Woodland Restoration, to help the forestry sector meet the challenge of Phytophthora Ramorum disease in larch. 

- The Timber Business Investment Scheme will also open later this month, to support proposals to encourage both active woodland management and increased value of outputs.        

The last two items are specifically aimed at our forestry sector but the others could be of interest to our sector as well.

There is nothing on the WG website yet but I will monitor and let you know when it appears, Glastir woodland management is also not mentioned so I will try and get more information on the prospects for that. 

Details at: http://gov.wales/newsroom/environmentandcountryside/2016/european-programmes-to-deliver-millions-for-rural-coastal-wales/?lang=en