THE securing of grant funding is of paramount importance to farmers and landowners, and accordingly, leading Scottish independent property consultancy CKD Galbraith has expanded its dedicated team of Agri-business consultants with new appointments in Ayr and Elgin.
Joining the firm’s existing team in Ayr, Andy Morrison, will advise clients on all matters relating to agricultural and rural grant schemes, in particular the Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP) and, likewise, Gordon McConachie has been appointed in the firm’s Elgin office.
CKD Galbraith is involved in a wide variety of projects including agri environment projects, capital investments, renewables and forestry, covering everything from small scale to larger investments for all types of rural businesses.
Gordon brings with him almost 20 years of experience in this sector, having previously been with the Scottish Government Rural Payments & Inspections Directorate (SGRPID) in Inverurie and most recently completing a two-year secondment with the Cairngorms National Park Authority in Grantown-on-Spey, specifically responsible for SRDP grant matters. During this time almost £11m of funding was secured for a range of businesses within the Park.
Gordon still retains an interest in the 1800 hectare family farm just outside Grantown, where a successful pedigree herd of Highland cattle is kept.
Based in Ayr, Andy Morrison worked with SGRPID at Thainstone, Hamilton and Ayr over a 17-year period and has wide experience of SRDP and other agricultural schemes, co-incidentally working with Gordon on various projects over this period. Andy has a small farm business which runs some sheep.
Gordon said: “Now, more than ever, it is essential to apply for funding for projects that will improve the long-term viability of land-based businesses. Having experience of the types of projects that work and can be funded under SRDP will allow me to help farmers target projects and provide them with a greater chance of a successful application.
“Given the hugely competitive nature of current agricultural grant funding schemes, this year’s uncertain commodity prices and the general economic downturn, it is more important than ever to get professional advice to optimise the potential from this increasingly important income source.
“Whether it is a new farm building, a renewable energy project or hedge planting, using a consultant who has this experience will pay dividends.”
Commenting on his new appointment, Andy said: “I agree with Gordon that the current scheme is highly competitive and that although we can produce applications we cannot allow for changes in the accepted expenditure such as recent changes to maximum funding for business cases.
“The SRDP scheme is very broad-based and yet specific at the same time. If you are considering an application, starting early provides time to consider the implications to your business.
“For example, committing to agri-environment schemes which could give some income for five years, or perhaps considering old buildings that could be made useable again.
“It is imperative, however, particularly for projects of this nature, to take into account the associated costs involved.
“The view is taken as to the benefit to the public from money invested. There are national targets which take some priority, but there has been funding for other schemes as well.”
SGRPID have just announced that the first Regional Proposal Assessment Committees (RPAC) of 2011 will be in February 2011 with a plan submission date of 8 November 2010 for capital, renewable, access and community-based applications.
CKD Galbraith’s experts in the agri-business sector will be able to advise potential clients on future funding deadlines and applications for 2011.
For more information please contact Gordon McConachie of CKD Galbraith on 01343 546362 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Andy Morrison on 01292 268181 or e-mail: email@example.com
About CKD Galbraith
CKD Galbraith is an independent property consultancy specialising in serving the needs of private clients. It employs over 180 people in offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth, Cupar, Inverness, Aberfeldy, Castle Douglas, Ayr, Elgin, Galashiels, Kelso and Peebles.
The partnership provides the full range of property consulting services across the commercial, residential and rural sectors throughout Scotland. The company enjoys a successful relationship with its associate firm in London, CKD Kennedy Macpherson.
The company’s rural arm specialises in farm sales and purchases, the management and sale of large estates and woodland, valuations and building surveying work.
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