McIlveen allocates £100,000 for Social Farming Capital Grant Scheme

Agriculture Minister Michelle McIlveen has announced the opening of a Social Farming Capital Grant Scheme, with £100,000 available for farmers who wish to improve their farms to facilitate social farming participants.

Announcing the opening of the new Scheme, DAERA Minister Michelle McIlveen said: “Social Farming and the involvement in day-to-day agricultural activities is well known for improving the wellbeing of those living with learning disabilities and mental health challenges. It has also been shown to benefit the farmers and farm families hosting the participants.

“My Department has been supporting the development of social farming in Northern Ireland for a number of years. Having listened to those involved in the sector, I am delighted to make funding available from my Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation (TRPSI) Programme to help meet the capital costs involved in modern social farming.”

The Scheme opens for applications today Monday 3 October 2016 and will close at noon on Monday 31 October 2016. Capital grants of between £500 and £4,999 are available to ‘Active Farmers’ already involved in the provision of Social Farming. Detailed information on the Scheme including the application form and Scheme guidance notes is available from the DAERA website.

Miss McIlveen added: “This Scheme  will benefit both the Social Farming service users and the farm enterprise. These grants can make a huge difference to the quality of the on-farm experience and I would encourage farmers already involved in Social Farming to visit the DAERA website for more information on the Scheme and advice on how to apply.”