It never rains but it pours, but in the Welsh Government a drought of funding is challenging smooth transition to the SFS

Senior Policy Adviser, Fraser McAuley provides a quick update on the interim funding scheme, BPS and the final steps to create the Sustainable Farming Scheme

Habitat Wales Scheme

The expression of interest window for the Habitat Wales Scheme closed last week. Since its launch we have expressed grave concern about the reduction in support which some businesses will experience – and the likely impact. However, the Welsh Government will not budge on levels of funding directed towards the scheme.

A remaining issue is that while we have been informed about the scheme’s payment rates per hectare, we do not have the total amount available for the scheme. According to the Welsh Government budgets are in the worst position since devolution and that is the reason for the limited budget. We will be continuing to meet with them and other key stakeholders to determine the relative success of the scheme in terms of application numbers and the amount of contracts offered.

Basic Payment Scheme

Approximately 96% of 2023 BPS funds have been sent to farmers across Wales. We expect a budget announcement for 2024 BPS to be announced at the end of December.

Sustainable Farming Scheme

The final Sustainable Farming Scheme consultation will be published in the third week of December and will be open for twelve weeks. It will be the last formal process in which we can influence the final scheme proposals and we will require as many members as possible to share their views with us. We expect the final scheme to be published in July 2024 alongside payment rates.

Key contact:

Fraser McAuley
Fraser McAuley Senior Policy Adviser, CLA Cymru