FBIS Capital Scheme – Tier 2

Completed Tier 2 applications may be submitted from 4pm on 19 December 2016. The application window closes at 4pm on 24 February 2017.

Privacy Policy Notice

As Delivery Agents for the FBIS Capital Scheme Countryside Services Ltd adhere to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs privacy policy.  Their privacy statement can be viewed on their website  https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/daera-privacy-statement and we encourage you to read this.

Business Plan Training

A training programme is now available for farmers and growers applying for Tier 2 of the Farm Business Improvement Scheme – Capital in Tranche 1. The business plan training on offer will enable participants to complete the Business Plan element of their application. Training will consist of two sessions focusing on the Business Plan Narrative and Cash Flow Calculator Tool respectively.

Applicants are not required to complete this training but it would be recommended.

Courses will be delivered at CAFRE campuses and must be pre-booked. Register your place for business plan training here:

For FBIS-Capital Business Plan Training please follow this link.

Tier 2 Explanatory Booklet

An Explanatory Booklet is available for reference to assist you in preparing your application. This booklet was originally uploaded on 31 October 2016, but was substantially revised on 19 December 2016. You can access the Booklet here.

Online Application

The Tier 2 application form can be accessed for viewing/information here.

Hard Copy Application

A hard copy application is available here.

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Possession of a valid DAERA Category 1 Farm Business ID

A Category 1 Farm Business ID is required for all applicants to the FBIS Capital Scheme. Further information and details on how to apply for a DAERA Farm Business ID can be found here.

Completion of farm safety training and assessment certificate through the ‘Making it Safer’ self-assessment and load to application system

All applicants to the Scheme must complete the ‘Making it Safer’ self-assessment certificate where the applicant will be required to answer questions relating to their own farm on Slurry, Animals, Falls and Equipment (SAFE).

This is an online tool and is available here.  A certificate will be issued on completion.

Applicants will need to save this digital certificate (to a computer rather than a mobile device) as it will need to be uploaded as part of the application process. The DAERA Farm Business ID number entered on to the certificate will be checked against the Farm Business ID number on the FBIS Capital Scheme application form.

It is essential that the Farm Business ID number is entered onto the ‘Making It Safer’ certificate, otherwise it cannot be accepted and the application will be ruled ineligible.

It is also recommended that applicants complete the ‘FarmSafeNet’ Health and Safety awareness training available here  prior to completing their ‘Making It Safer’ risk assessment.

Completion of farm safety training and assessment certificate through the ‘Making it Safer’ self assessment and load to application system

All applicants to the Scheme must complete the ‘Making it Safer’ self assessment certificate where the applicant will be required to answer questions relating to their own farm on Slurry, Animals, Falls and Equipment (SAFE).

This is an online tool and is available here (external link opens in a new window / tab). A certificate will be issued on completion.

Applicants will need to save this digital certificate (to a computer rather than a mobile device) as it will need to be uploaded as part of the application process.  The DAERA Farm Business ID number entered on to the certificate will be checked against the Farm Business ID number on the FBIS Capital Scheme application form.

It is essential that the Farm Business ID number is entered onto the ‘Making It Safer’ certificate, otherwise it cannot be accepted and the application will be ruled ineligible.

It is also recommended that applicants complete the ‘FarmSafeNet’ Health and Safety awareness training available here (external link opens in a new window / tab) prior to completing their ‘Making It Safer’ risk assessment.

Educational Attainment – Level II Eligible Qualifications

The College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) has compiled a list of eligible qualifications under the ‘Educational Attainment’ selection criterion for the Farm Business Improvement Scheme (FBIS) – Capital Scheme. Applicants can check this list to verify if qualifications they hold will be accepted by DAERA for the purposes of their application.

A list of eligible qualifications under the ‘Educational Attainment’ selection criterion for the Farm Business Improvement Scheme (FBIS) – Capital Scheme can be found here.

Completion of a proportionate business plan

Applicants to Tier 2 will be required to submit a separate robust, viable and sustainable business plan as part of their application, which shows that they have carefully planned their investment and what difference the proposed project will make in transforming their farm into a more sustainable, efficient and safer business.

Outline of the areas to cover within the Tier 2 business plan:

• Current farm business
• Details of the proposed project and its implementation
• Objectives and outcomes to be achieved
• Health and Safety issues have been addressed
• Environmental mitigations have been considered
• Financial objectives set within the plan
• Detailed financial projections to support the plan

DAERA will assess the objectives in the applicant’s business plan against those of Tier 2 of the Capital Scheme.

Online Business Plan Template

The blank template for the narrative section of the online business plan for Tier 2 of the FBIS Capital Scheme, and associated guidance notes, are available here. A draft worked example is available here.

Farm Business Planner

You can access the Farm Business Planner here.

Please be advised that a Government Gateway ID will be required to access the Farm Business Planner. Guidance on how you can apply for a Government Gateway ID can be found here.

Indication of Support letter from Bank/lending institution

An Indication of Support letter will be required at application stage for the Farm Business Improvement Scheme – Capital (FBIS-C).  All applicants must provide a template letter that has been completed by their bank or lending institution before they make an application for grant support.

This letter, referred to as an Indication of Support Letter, is designed to encourage applicants to carefully consider the needs and circumstances of their farm business before proceeding with a project and will confirm that the applicant can access funds to complete their project.

Applicants do not actually have to borrow the funds from a bank or lending institution. However, should you decide to proceed with an application, the letter will provide reassurance to the applicant, the financial institution and DAERA that the applicant will be able to access the funds necessary to finance and complete the proposed investment, including VAT, until the applicant receives payment of 40% grant assistance at the end of the project.

The bank letter template to be used by the applicant, if they bank with one of the financial institutions listed below, can be found here.

  • Bank of Ireland
  • Barclays
  • Credit Union
  • Danske Bank
  • First Trust
  • HSBC
  • Ulster Bank

However, banks and lending institutions may choose to use an alternative letter format which will be accepted, provided equivalent information is contained within the letter.

If the financial institution that the applicant banks with wishes to provide a letter that is not in the above format, then it must include the following information as a minimum:

  1. Name, address of client and six digit DAERA Category 1 Farm Business ID number (to be used by DAERA to cross reference the application);
  2. Confirmation that the client has managed their account effectively and/or complied with the terms and conditions of the account;
  3. Future funding requirements of the client have been discussed in relation to purchase of items under the Farm Business Improvement Scheme – Capital;
  4. Confirmation that, at present, the client has access to sufficient funds, or could have access to sufficient funds, to purchase equipment (including VAT) under the Scheme – prior to a grant being paid by DAERA (should the client be successful in obtaining a Letter of Offer of funding).

If the applicant is provided with a letter from the financial institution with the information, as set out in points one to four above, this will suffice and it can be attached to the application for FBIS – C in the usual way.

The bank/lending institution letter does not have to be in the name of the applicant but should be in the name of a person named on the DAERA Category 1 Farm Business ID.

For Tier 2 projects, banks or other lending institutions will first want to consider your business plan.  Please note that banks/lending institutions have indicated that the process could take up to two weeks to produce the required letter, after scrutiny of the applicant’s business plan by the bank or other lending institution.

Farm Investment Planner Map (construction only)

Applicants seeking grant support for Tier 2 construction projects must submit a Farm Investment Planner map, outlining the proposed construction project as part of their application.

The DAERA Farm Investment Planner Mapping Tool will help you prepare a site layout plan before deciding to proceed with a project in Tier 2 of the Scheme.

It is designed to assist the farmer with mapping existing and potential capital investment on their farm. It can be used to label existing or proposed buildings, or mark those for demolition. The approximate dimensions of buildings will be displayed, including the length of each wall and the area of the building. The Tool will assist all farmers, not just those applying to the Scheme.

It should be noted that this is not intended to replace any planning permission drawings, detailed architectural or engineer drawings, costs or measurements taken on the ground but it will assist applicants with scoping out the general layout of their potential construction project.

You can access the Farm Investment Planner map here.

Please be advised that a Government Gateway ID will be required to access the Farm Investment Planner map. Guidance on how you can apply for a Government Gateway ID can be found here.

Environmental tools

The Nitrogen Loading Calculator

The tool helps you to calculate the nitrogen loading for your farm and check if you are below the 170kg N per ha per year limit or, If operating under a derogation, below the 250kg N per ha per year limit.

The Nitrogen Loading Calculator can be accessed here.

The Manure Storage Calculator

This tool helps you to calculate the weekly slurry, dirty water, manure production and current storage capacity for your farm and checks if you have the required 22 or 26 weeks.
The Manure Storage Calculator can be accessed here.

Please be advised that a Government Gateway ID will be required to access these calculators. Guidance on how you can apply for a Government Gateway ID can be found here.

Environmental guidance for construction projects

Environmental information for construction projects can be found here.

Documentation required at Letter of Offer stage

The following documentation will be required at Letter of Offer stage:

Proof of Head of Holding (HoH) status (if applicant is 40 years old or under). For Tier 2, extra selection criteria points are available for applicants aged 40 years or less and who are verified as HoH on 28 October 2016. DAERA can verify those applicants aged 40, or less, who have already been assessed as HoH, and those who are the only person named under the DAERA Farm Business ID number will be accepted as head of holding for application purposes. Others will be required to provide proof at Letter of Offer acceptance stage.

Proof of educational attainment. For Tier 1 and Tier 2, proof of educational attainment will be required at Letter of Offer acceptance stage for applicants seeking extra points under this selection criterion. This criterion applies to all ages of applicants and not just those under 40. The education received must be at Level 2 or above in agriculture or horticulture.