Furness is benefiting from a Government cash award of £148,325 to farmers and foresters in the community as part of the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund. This will help growers in Furness to boost farm productivity, reduce waste and cut input costs, as well as increase environmental sustainability and improve slurry management.
The government has increased the budget to £31 million in response to farmer demand from the original budget of £17 million. This means more than 3,000 farmers and contractors are set to receive grants to invest in improving the sustainability of their farm businesses.
Through the fund, the government are offering investment in over 90 pieces of equipment which will support food security by, for example, reducing the spread of pests and diseases and sustainably managing valuable nutrients on farm. Examples of successful applications include rainwater harvesting tanks to improve water security for farmers in the summer; tree shears to help stop the spread of pests and diseases; to equipment to minimise grass contamination and ammonia emissions when spreading slurry.
The fund forms part of the Government’s manifesto commitment to invest £2.4 billion per year in farming for the rest of this Parliament. In 2023 alone, at least £168 million is being made available to increase farming productivity through 16 different grants and competitions themed around productivity, research and innovation.
This announcement follows the UK Farm to Fork Summit held in Downing Street last month where the Government announced a package of support for the farming sector, including new measures to ensure the sector remains at the forefront of developing and adopting new technologies and techniques, including appointing local MP Simon Fell as the Government’s first Rural Connectivity Champion.
Commenting, Simon Fell, the MP for Barrow and Furness, said:
“It’s great to see the Government continuing to support Furness’ farmers. In recent discussions with local farmers and the Farming Minister in Furness, it was apparent just how useful this fund is. The technology and equipment it will provide will go a long way to providing a more sustainable, and productive environment for farmers and foresters in Furness.”