Farming Transformation Fund - Water Management Grant

DEFRA has launched The Farming Investment Fund today covering two schemes - Farming Equipment and Technology Fund (FETF) and the Farming Transformation Fund (FTF). The first scheme to be announced today is the FTF which provides grants to improve productivity, profitability and enhance environmental sustainability covering three themes:

  1. Water Management
  2. Improving Farm Productivity
  3. Adding Value

Firstly we take a look at the Water Management Grant. The priorities for this are to improve productivity, water sustainability and the environment. They are looking for projects that improve farm productivity through more efficient use of water for irrigation and secure water supplies for crop irrigation. Some examples of projects include:

  1. Introduce more efficient water application - for example swap rain gun application for trickle or boom application
  2. Secure water supply for crop irrigation that enables water to be used in a more sustainable way - for example constructing a reservoir and moving away from summer abstraction to rainwater harvesting/winter abstraction
  3. Help business resilience and prosperity - for example using new irrigation systems
  4. Encourage collaboration - for example supplying water to a neighbouring farmer

Who Can Apply and How Much Money Can You Apply For?

Arable and Horticultural Businesses growing or intending to grow irrigated food crops, ornamentals or forestry nurseries in England.

The grant covers up to 40% of eligible costs of a project, with the minimum available being £35,000 for each project. The maximum grant available is £500,000. In order to get the minimum grant, the total project cost would have to be £87,500.

The grant will be paid for in arrears and can only be claimed after is the work is finished and paid for. It is expected that a maximum of 3 claims would be made over the course of the project.

For the grant there is a list of eligible and ineligible costs for project. The full list can be found at

How to Apply

There is a 2 stage application process for applying for the grant. Firstly you will use an online checker (Stage 1) to check if you are able to apply and to see how well your project fits with the funding priorities.

You will then have to wait until the full application window (Stage 2) opens and you will be invited to submit an application if you were successful at Stage 1. Stage 2 will be scored against how well the project represents value for money and how viable the project is. They will also assess how the project will be delivered and how sustainable it is.

Further details on the application process can be found at:

For further information or advice on this grant, please contact Tabitha Bentley on 01677 450950 or via email at