Scheme success needs more than Defra funding

"As well as getting the EU to approve the proposals, we await details of what types of diversification projects will attract higher rates of funding (DEFRA have proposed increasing the ceiling from 50% to 100%) the same rules will apply as before e.g. funding will only cover the shortfall between not going ahead with a project and what it needs to make it commercially viable.

"Diversification ideas need to stand up on their own and a grant should be the ‘icing on the cake’. Any project that is conceived with the primary aim of attracting a grant is unlikely to be financially successful.

"Anyone thinking of applying for RDPE assistance should not hold back in the hope that their project might attract a higher level of funding as a result of these proposals.

"The lead time for most projects is at least six months, in many cases longer if things like planning permission are needed."

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