There have been delays in processing applications under the second phase of the Tier 2 capital grant scheme in NI.

In May 2022, DAERA received 199 applications for the £12m scheme. It allows up to 40% grant funding on large-scale projects costing over £30,000, up to a maximum grant of £250,000.

A spokesperson for DAERA confirmed to the Irish Farmers Journal that letters of offer have not yet been issued to any successful applicants.

“It is expected that the first letters of offer will issue in the autumn once eligibility checks and a detailed assessment of applications have been completed,” the spokesperson said.

Scheme applicants received an update from DAERA this week which explains that initial eligibility checks followed by a full application assessment make up the two-stage process for assessment.

“Initial eligibility checks have been completed on more than half of all the applications received and although we cannot be definitive it is anticipated that checks of the remaining applications should be finished within the next six weeks,” the update reads.

DAERA also reminded applicants that building projects which required planning permission must have received approval from local authorities before 30 June 2022: “Applications that do not meet this scheme requirement will be deemed ineligible.”

With the cost of building materials continuing to rise, some Tier 2 applicants have expressed concerns that their initial grant application will now cover less of the overall project cost.

However, DAERA has maintained that Tier 2 applications can no longer be changed. “The value of the funding that has been sought cannot be amended following submission of an application,” a department spokesperson said.