The Farming Transformation Fund Water Management grant is to make more efficient use of water for irrigation and to secure water supplies for crops. The grant can pay up to 40% of the costs for: constructing water storage reservoirs, abstraction points, pumps and pipework to fill a reservoir, irrigation pumps, controls, underground water distribution systems, water meters, best-practice application equipment such as boom or trickle irrigators, software and sensors to optimise water application. The minimum grant you can claim is £35,000 (40% of £87,500). The maximum grant is £500,000.

Programme: DEFRA


Opens: 16 November 2021

Closes: 12 January 2022

Who Can Apply:

You can apply if you:

  • are in England
  • grow crops for the food industry
  • are a nursery growing ornamentals
  • are a forestry nursery
  • own the land the project will be on or have a lease for at least 5 years
  • estimate the project costs will be over £87,500

When to apply:

Check if you’re eligible: 16th November 2021- 12th January 2022

Full application submissions: 16th November 2021 - 30th June 2022

Any planning permission or abstraction licences must be in place by 31 December 2022. You will invalidate your application if you start the project or commit to any costs (such as placing orders) before you receive a funding agreement.

Before you start the project, you can:

  • get quotes from suppliers
  • apply for planning permission or an abstraction licence (these can take a long time)

How to apply for a grant:

First, use the checker to find out if your project is eligible for a grant

You'll need:

  • information about your business (for example, number of employees, turnover)
  • information about the project (for example, irrigated land in hectares)
  • a list of the items you’d like to buy for the project
  • an estimate of the total cost of the items

After you have gone through the checker, you’ll get a score showing how well your project fits the funding priorities.

RPA wants to fund projects that improve:

  • productivity
  • the environment
  • water sustainability

When you are happy with your score, you can submit your details to RPA.

You can go back through the checker as many times as you like but you can only submit your details once.

Check if your project can apply for a grant.

Submitting a full application:

After you’ve submitted details in the checker, RPA will contact you to tell you if you can go through to the full application stage.

At the full application stage, RPA will assess value for money alongside the funding priorities. This may impact your overall project score.

The likelihood of a full application being successful will also depend on the number and value of applications we receive.

If you submit a full application and it is successful, you’ll get a funding agreement and can begin work on the project.

Before you submit a full application, it will help you to read:

Farming Transformation Fund Water Management grant manual

How to fill in a Water Management grant full application

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