APPLICATIONS for round two of the slurry infrastructure opened on November 21 - and an MP is encouraging farmers to apply. 

Selaine Saxby, MP for North Devon, has also welcomed the extension of the grant, which has added priority areas including the River Caen and River Umber catchment areas. 

The scheme is a component of the government's Plan for Water, which aims to tackle every source of water pollution. It offers cattle and pig farms grants of between £25,000 and £250,000 to upgrade their slurry storage, so farmers can make better use of organic fertilisers and cut pollution and input costs. 

“I encourage any farmer needing to improve their slurry storage to submit an online application," said Ms Saxby.

"The platform has been designed to be simple to use and gives our farmers an upfront estimate of how much grant they could get.

"Depending on the level of demand, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) may need to prioritise applications. If necessary, RPA will shortlist projects in areas identified as needing urgent action to reduce water and air pollution from farming.

"In North Devon these priority areas include the River Caen and the River Umber catchment areas, as well as much of the Taw and Torridge estuaries. Even if you are not in one of these priority areas please do still apply. There will be a further round in 2024.”

To find out how to apply for the grant, click here

Round two of the grant has been improved based on feedback from farmers and the industry and it has new items and flexibilities to support different farm models and increase environmental outcomes. 

Ms Saxby added: “As we seek to improve the water quality of not only our bathing beaches, but all our bodies of water, it is vital that we utilise all the tools available.

"Improving land run off and holding water back from entering our combined sewer system will take time and investment and I wholeheartedly welcome this additional investment into North Devon to not only help our farmers but improve our water quality.”