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Agri-Food Investment Initiative

Agri-food being grown under heated lights in a factory. A man dressed in white is inspecting the food growing. Blue banner along the bottom, with white text "Agri-Food Investment Initiative" Omagh Enterprise logo within the blue banner.

Northern Ireland agri-food businesses can access financial assistance for capital investments to grow and increase their competitiveness.

The Agri-Food Investment Initiative (AFII) aims to enhance the economic performance and competitiveness of Northern Ireland’s agri-food sector through financial assistance for transformative capital investment in several key areas. These areas include:

  • machinery and equipment
  • buying or developing computer software
  • buying patents, licences, copyrights, and trademarks

It supports Northern Ireland food and drink processors from small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs*) to large Agri-food businesses that process products outlined in Annex I of the Treaty of Rome (PDF, 159K).

The main aims of AFII are to:

  • Support enterprises to increase their efficiency and improve their productivity
  • Improve the competitiveness of Northern Ireland’s Agri-food sector
  • Support capacity building, growth, innovation, and new product development

Eligibility

AFII is open to all Invest Northern Ireland clients and new clients* operating within one or more of the following food and drink processing sectors:

  • meat processing (beef, sheep, pig, and poultry)
  • dairy, milk, and milk products
  • potatoes
  • cereals/arable crops, fruit and vegetables
  • bakery, snacks, and convenience
  • drinks and beverages
  • animal feed
  • cold stores (industrially de-rated only)

*Businesses that are not currently Invest NI clients must demonstrate that they meet Invest NI’s criteria to become a client and if they do so, they will then be on-boarded.

Due to State Aid restrictions, businesses involved in the following activities should contact their Invest NI Client Executive or foodenquiries@investni.com before completing an online eligibility check or applying:

  • Bakery (only applications from SMEs are eligible)
  • Drinks and beverages (only applications from SMEs are eligible)
  • Cold stores (only applications from SMEs are eligible)
  • Egg processing

Support available

Small businesses**

The maximum aid intensity that can be granted is 35% of the eligible investment costs. The minimum project size is £300,000.

Medium businesses**

The maximum aid intensity that can be granted is 25% of the eligible investment costs. The minimum project size is £1,000,000.

Large businesses**

The maximum aid intensity is 20% of the eligible investment costs, however, the aid intensity for any individual project will be limited to the minimum support required to implement the project, compared to the counterfactual scenario in the absence of aid. The minimum project size is £1,000,000.

** As per the EU definition, SMEs are businesses with a staff headcount of fewer than 250 people, and which have an annual turnover of no more than €50 million or an annual balance sheet total of no more than €43 million.

The maximum eligible costs per individual investment project under this scheme will be no more than €25 million. The maximum assistance available under this scheme will be around £5 million.

How to apply

To find out if you can apply for the Agri-Food Investment Initiative, you must first check your eligibility.

Apply for the Agri-Food Investment Initiative.

The scheme will run until 31 December 2025.

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