Small Abattoir Fund - Abattoir Grants in England

Introduction to the Smaller Abattoir Fund - The UK government has launched a pioneering initiative to bolster smaller abattoirs in England.

Details of the Fund and Its Benefits

UPDATE MAY 2024: The maximum grant amount available through the fund has now increased from £60,000 to £75,000. The intervention rate has also increased from 40% to 50%.

A £4 million fund is now accessible, offering capital grants specifically tailored for these vital rural businesses. This move recognises the crucial role smaller abattoirs play in supporting local farmers, enhancing animal welfare, and contributing to rural economies. They are particularly significant for processing native and rare breeds, often overlooked by larger abattoirs. However, the sector has faced challenges, with a notable decline in smaller abattoirs due to rising operational costs and other factors. This fund aims to reverse this trend and maintain the UK’s leading position in animal welfare.

The £4 million Smaller Abattoir Fund will provide grants for FSA approved red meat and poultry abattoirs, including mobile abattoirs, in England that slaughter up to 10,000 livestock units per annum for red meat abattoirs or up to 500,000 poultry birds (based on 2022 throughput data).

The Smaller Abattoir Fund provides grants ranging from £2,000 to £75,000, covering up to 50% of eligible costs. This funding is designed to improve productivity, enhance animal welfare, add value to primary products, and encourage innovation and the use of new technologies. For instance, an abattoir investing in equipment worth £10,000 can receive a £5,000 grant, needing to fund the remaining £5,000. Recognising the variable cash flows in this sector, abattoirs can make up to three applications, with a maximum total grant of £75,000. The fund is flexible, considering additional investments not listed, provided they align with the fund’s objectives.

How to Apply for the Small Abattoir Fund

For further information or assistance with the application process, abattoirs can reach out to the Rural Payments Agency (RPA). The RPA will be contacting eligible applicants with official guidance and application forms. They will also provide details about upcoming webinars, offering a direct platform to learn more about the fund and its benefits.

The deadline for applications is set for 30 September 2024.

For any queries regarding the Smaller Abattoir Fund, applicants can email or call 03000 200 301, selecting the ‘Smaller Abattoir Fund’ option. This will connect them with a representative who can provide further guidance and support throughout the application process.

Information available from: DEFRA Small Abattoir Fund

Eligibility Criteria

When applying for the fund, applicants will need to clearly demonstrate how the item or project they would like to be funded fits in to one or more of the Fund’s outlined aims to:

  • Improve productivity
  • Enhance animal health and welfare
  • Add value to primary products
  • Encourage innovation and investment in new technologies

If successful in the application, Defra will make up 50% of the cost of the item an abattoir applied for.

The Fund will be a criteria based scheme. Provided applicants meet the scheme criteria, they will be eligible for support. The detailed eligibility criteria will be provided to applicants when the Fund opens.

The application window will be open for 9 months (until 30 September 2024 or until all the money has been allocated to successful applications).

Eligible applicants may submit up to three applications, with a total cap of £75,000 per abattoir business across all applications. The minimum grant that can be applied for is £2,000. Detailed information on capital investments by category, aligned with the fund’s goals, will be provided within the application materials.

The SAF will be accessible to FSA-approved mobile and static red meat and poultry abattoirs in England only. Applicant abattoirs, not the businesses that own them, must be physically situated in England, or in the case of mobile abattoirs, operate only in England. This covers both producer and privately owned abattoirs.

The SAF will be open to red meat abattoirs processing up to and including 10,000 farmed livestock units (LSU) per annum (i.e., bovines, sheep, goats, pigs, farmed venison), and poultry abattoirs slaughtering up to and including 500,000 birds per annum (i.e., chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks, capons, hens). Throughput will be calculated using FSA quality assured throughput data for the 2022 calendar year.

Each individual business will count as a single applicant rather than the individual abattoirs themselves, and each business will only be eligible to apply for the maximum grant (£75k), regardless of the number of smaller abattoirs they may own. Businesses already in receipt of other public funds may also be restricted in the amount of funding they can apply for, in line with the UK’s Subsidy Control Act.

An application must not relate to items or a project in an abattoir for which the investment is to be installed or used is subject to ongoing enforcement action or a related prosecution with conviction in the previous 12-month period. In these cases, such items will be deemed ineligible for funding.


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