Shropshire Farming Talk: DEFRA funding for calf housing now available

There’s good news for beef and dairy farmers from DEFRA which has recently introduced a new grant funding stream to support improvements to animal health and welfare.

Louise Preece
Louise Preece

Animal Health and Welfare Infrastructure grants will provide funding of between £15,000 and £500,000 for larger infrastructure projects, focussed on the cattle, pig and poultry sectors, to increased productivity and, ultimately, an improved profit margin.

The first grant available under this funding stream is the Calf Housing for Health and Welfare Grant. It will fund new, upgraded and replacement calf housing to help optimise calf growth and performance, specifically concentrating on common problem areas such as social contact, space, ventilation, temperature and humidity within buildings.

The right housing environment will help to produce healthy and thriving calves with better growth and feed conversion rates, and thus lower costs and mortality rates.

The grants are available on all beef and dairy calf units for buildings housing calves up to the age of six months. A range of building-types is supported, with the grant paying for structural work, internal fixtures and fittings, the delivery and installation of items and electrical and water supply. Second-hand items are also supported.

The grant scheme opened for initial online applications on September 6 and closes on November 30. During this initial stage, you can check if you can apply for a grant for your project and check how well your project fits the funding priorities.

If stage one is successfully completed, you will be required to submit details of the design and specification of your proposed project at stage two. If the details submitted at stage two are satisfactory, you will be invited to submit a full application at stage three. The deadline for this is April, 2025.

Applications are assessed according to how well they meet funding priorities, their financial viability, deliverability and sustainability.

For further information on the Calf Housing for Health and Welfare Grant, or other grants offered by DEFRA, call our Rural Professional Team at Shrewsbury on 01743 450700.

Louise Preece, Halls associate director and head of Rural Professional Services.

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