£5 million grant scheme to boost domestic tree production in England re-opens to applications (deadline: 31st May 2023)

Applications have reopened for the Forestry Commission’s Tree Production Capital Grant programme. The funding is intended to drive the production of tree seed and saplings in England through developments in machinery, automation and the expansion of facilities.

In line with the aims of the England Trees Action Plan, the Tree Production Capital Grant will support efforts to build nursery capacity and grow long-term tree seed and sapling supply.

The grant will enable suppliers to boost production rates at pace and has been designed to complement the Tree Production Innovation Fund, which provides support for research projects that enhance UK tree production methods.

Successful projects will be awarded up to £175,000 in grant funding to cover up to 50% of costs, with money coming from the Tree Production Capital Grant as part of the UK government’s £750 million Nature for Climate Fund. In comparison to the 2022 application process, the minimum grant value which can be applied for has reduced from £10,000 to £5,000 enhancing accessibility for smaller projects.

Examples of eligible projects include (please note that this is not an exclusive list):

o Investments in seed trays.
o Developments in machinery such as transplanting systems and grading machines.
o Improved polytunnel infrastructure and irrigation systems, or in biosecurity through improved water treatment and refrigeration equipment.

Applications are encouraged from tree seed and sapling suppliers of all sizes and sectors, as well as new entrants looking to diversify into the area.

The second round of the Tree Production Capital Grant is now open until 31st May 2023. and will provide up to £1.76 million of funding during 2023/24 and £3.43 million during 2024/25, subject to successful bids. Applicants can apply for projects up to two years long, ending in March 2025.

The Forestry Commission will be hosting a webinar on the grant application process on Friday 28 April.

For more information and to apply, go to: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tree-production-capital-grant

To receive the latest news on the grant, sign up to the Forestry Commission’s e-alert.