Funding Farm Diversification

Have a plan for diversification but cannot raise the finance?  Mike Bracegirdle, Head of Agriculture, looks at some innovative solutions.

Farmers are increasingly looking at ways to vary or improve their income stream.   According to the website ( ‘about half of all UK farms use some form of diversified activity in their farming business and these bring an average of £10,400 extra revenue per farm’.

They state that other benefits of diversifying your farm include:

  • making better use of your farm’s physical resources and characteristics
  • finding new uses for your existing skills
  • integrating your farm with – and recycling money within – the rural economy

However, many such projects will require funding and it may not always possible to obtain finance from ‘normal lending’ institutions – accounts may not be satisfactory for example, or current borrowing may already be at the lenders limit.

Butcher & Barlow have well established connections with a number of brokers and funders who may be able to offer a cost effective solution, outside of the main high street lenders. If you are declined for funding, get in touch and we can put you in contact with organisations that may be able to assist.  We cannot guarantee that funding will be available.

Even if we are unable to source a lender who is able to provide the financial assistance upon terms which are sustainable, we are able to give advice on a variety of grants which many farmers are unaware of.

Plain Action

What is it?

A grant programme to assist farm businesses move into non -farming activities.

This programme works through helping farmers support the underlying farm business by bringing in supplementary income.  This could be renovating old farm buildings, or modifying the business to meet a local demand.  Grants are available from £5k to £100k but do require a minimum of 60% match funding.  Panels meet every two months and applications must be submitted a month in advance.

Historic Building Restoration Grant

What is it?

A new scheme offering funding to restore historic farm buildings.

This is being piloted in the 5 National Parks – Dartmoor, The Lake District, The Peak District, The Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland.  The pot holds £2m.

Land Rover Bursary

What is it?

A 12 month lease of a Land Rover Discovery or Discovery Sport for use on a new business venture.

Available to young farmers aged 21-35 with a standout business plan, the Prince’s Countryside Fund has plans to launch this again in May 2019.

The Prince’s Countryside Fund

What is it?

For projects focused on either improving the prospects of viability for farm businesses and driving economic vibrancy

Grants of up to £50k are available for The Prince’s Trust intended for grass root organisations to assist with overcome rural challenges. Grant applications open again in January

At Butcher & Barlow our Agriculture Team pride themselves on providing practical advice.  Whatever your business structure or financial turnover we are there to provide cost effective support when you need it.

Mike Bracegirdle

Mike Bracegirdle