McShane welcomes first phase of scheme

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Sinn Féin North Antrim Assembly candidate Cara McShane has welcomed the opening of the first phase of the £250 million Farm Business Improvement Scheme and is encouraging farmers to apply for entry into the Business Development groups which closes on Monday 14th December.

Cllr. McShane said:“North Antrim is a rural Constituency and Agriculture is very important to the local economy. The Business Development groups offer numerous benefits to farmers, such as access to a CAFRE Development Adviser, the option to gain a qualification and the chance to keep up to date with the latest technologies.

“These Business Development Groups when organised will carry out activities such as on-farm meetings, demonstrations and skills training. Funding is available for completing the workshops as well as hosting a Farm visit.

“Farmers will then have the chance to develop a business plan for their agri business and it is therefore an extremely valuable scheme which participating farmers will benefit from in anticipation of the capital element scheme opening early next year which will provide farmers with 40% and 50% grant aid to a maximum of £250,000 towards:

Construction of new farm buildings and refurbishment of existing buildings/Purchase of machinery which can improve the performance of the farm/Equipment to improve nutrient management/Installation of environmentally approved water management systems/Investments to improve resource efficiency on the farm.

Feasibility studies for renewable energy.