The budget for the current phase of the Tier 1 grant scheme has been doubled from £7.5m to £15m.

It follows a huge uptake in the third tranche of the scheme last December, when over 3,800 applications were received.

The increased budget should mean that over three-quarters of applicants are successful in securing grant funding for equipment costing from £5,000 to £30,000.

“This will have a positive knock-on effect for many local agricultural and horticultural supply businesses and will contribute to my aim to develop a sustainable agricultural industry in NI,” said Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots.

DAERA has indicated that the first letters of offer will be issued to successful applicants from next week onwards.

Those with the highest score from the points-based selection criteria will receive letters first, and applications will be approved over “a number of weeks” until the budget is used up.

It means that the minimum score needed to be successful in the third tranche will not be known until all funding has been allocated.

Order surge

With all applications for low-emission slurry spreading equipment likely to be accepted, machinery manufacturers are facing a surge in order confirmations from Tier 1 applicants.

It could mean that DAERA will need to review the maximum time period that equipment needs to be purchased within.

At present, successful Tier 1 applicants have four months from the date on their letter of offer to buy their items and submit a claim for grant funding.

However, waiting times of at least six months for the likes of tankers fitted with trailing shoes and dribble bars have been forecast by local machinery suppliers.


Scheme guidance states that extensions to letter of offer timeframes are available if items cannot be supplied within the four-month period. Extension requests must include evidence of the order being placed and must be submitted before the letter of offer expires.