Food Business Accelerator scheme: guidance
Explains the scheme and the kind of projects that may qualify for grant aid.
In this page
Supporting the rural economy and the transition to the Sustainable Farming Scheme
The Programme for Government sets out our commitments to continue supporting farmers to produce food in a sustainable way, whilst taking action to respond to the climate emergency and to help reverse the decline in biodiversity. Funding support for farmers, land managers and associated rural sectors over the next 3 years is delivered through a flexible framework of support, with schemes – including the Food Business Accelerator Scheme - delivering towards the following themes:
- Farm scale land management
- On farm environmental improvements
- On farm efficiency and diversification
- Landscape scale land management
- Woodland and forestry
- Food and farming supply chains
The framework is designed to both support action in response to the challenges and opportunities available over the next 3 years and to inform the continuing development of the Sustainable Farming Scheme, which will reward farmers for the work they do now to lower their carbon footprint, improve the environment and produce food in a sustainable way.
Further information on the themes and schemes being developed are available at: Wales Rural Network | Business Wales.
Section A: Introduction
These Guidance Notes explain the Food Business Accelerator Scheme (FBAS) and the kind of projects that may qualify for grant aid. Please read it carefully. If you then consider your investment plans may qualify for grant and you want to apply for support under this scheme, please see ‘How to Apply’ at section C.
The Expression of Interest application window will open on 17 November 2022 and a selection will be carried out every 4 weeks to invite successful beneficiaries to submit a full application. The window will remain open until the budget allocation has been reached.
The indicative budget allocation is £40 million.
The FBAS is designed to help those businesses that offer clear and quantifiable benefits to the food and drink industry in Wales. It is designed to improve the performance, competitiveness, sustainability and efficiency of their businesses; to support businesses respond to consumer demand; to encourage diversification and to identify, exploit and service new emerging and existing markets.
The FBAS covers capital investments in processing equipment and infrastructure, along with some associated costs and supports projects that offer clear and quantifiable benefits to the food and drink industry in Wales.
Applicants must also demonstrate that a viable market has been identified for their product(s), that they have a credible plan to sell to that market, and that the project would not proceed without the grant. The scheme is discretionary, and the amount of grant offered would relate to individual circumstances.
The grant can be used to improve and develop production and processing facilities, e.g. to erect new buildings; upgrade premises; and to buy and install new or second-hand equipment (certain conditions apply).
Please read the scheme rules and guidance document before submitting an Expression of Interest (EoI).
If selected, you must be able to complete and claim all Capital Works items by your contract end date or 31 March 2025 whichever is the earlier. Claims received after this date will not be paid.
The Welsh Government has a long-term Vision for the food and drink industry, as described in the ‘Vision for the Food & Drink Industry from 2021’. The Vision is a strong, vibrant industry with a global reputation for excellence, which has one of the most environmentally and socially responsible supply chains in the world.
The Vision’s mission is to:
- Grow business scale, value and productivity
- That business success benefits people and society, and to
- Promote Wales and celebrate our success as a Food Nation.
All projects supported through the FBAS must contribute to achieving the Vision and make a demonstrable contribution. The contribution to the achieving the vision will be assessed during the appraisal. The specific objectives are:
Growth: Every year the turnover value of Wales’ food and drink sector will proportionately grow more than the rest of the UK, and to at least £8.5 billion by 2025.
Productivity: The 3-year average of Gross Value Added (GVA) per hour worked in the industry will increase proportionately more than the rest of the UK.
Fair Work: Every year, the proportion of food and drink sector employees receiving at least the Welsh Living Wage will increase, to achieve 80% by 2025.
Accreditation: Every year, there will be an increase in the proportion of manufacturing businesses in the industry holding accreditation (e.g., environmental management, staff development, production and other relevant standards).
Awards: Every year, there will be an increase in the proportion of businesses in the food and drink manufacturing sector achieving awards appropriate to their business. By 2025 at least 6 more Welsh products will join the UK GI Scheme.
Hygiene: 98% of businesses will have a food hygiene rating of 5 by 2025
Although the Vision focuses on the business of food manufacturing and processing, it integrates with a number of other Welsh Government strategies that have links to the wider supply chain: agriculture and fisheries, packaging, wholesale, retail — the system is connected.
The Vision is all about responsible business development in a dynamic environment. It emphasises business support and development with strong connections to the Welsh Government Programme for Government commitments that aim to make Wales a better place — building a greener economy based on the principles of fair work and sustainability as described in the Economic Contract — and our commitment to develop a Community Food Strategy for Wales.
Section B: FBAS Eligibility
You are eligible to apply if:
You are a VAT Registered businesses involved in primary and/or secondary processing of agricultural and non-agricultural products, such as:
- private and public limited companies
- Sole Traders and Partnerships
- farm businesses to process agricultural products
- new businesses, including established businesses starting a new diversification and start-up businesses.
- non-profit companies, co-operatives, community, public and voluntary sector organisations
Existing businesses must have a minimum food hygiene rating of 3 in order to apply.
In addition, in order to apply you need to have registered with the Welsh Government and have been issued with a Customer Reference Number (CRN). Please refer to the Welsh Government website for the How to register guidance or call the RPW Customer Contact Centre on 0300 062 5004.
Support under this scheme covers tangible and/or intangible investments in processing activities which offer clear and quantifiable benefits to the food and drink industry in Wales and its supply chains.
The output can be any kind of food and drink product for human consumption; animal feed products; pet food products; other functional food products; nutraceutical products; and non-food products such as bio-plastics.
Food Parks that provide grow-on production and processing units with available on-site technical, commercial and academic support
There are a number of investments and products that are not eligible for aid:
- investments solely at the retail level – defined as the purchase of goods for re‑sale or the delivery of an added-value service at the point of delivery such as restaurants, cafes and fast-food outlets, including mobile outlets. Exemptions for processing site retail, on-farm shops.
- investments to replace items previously purchased with Public Funding grant assistance (within the same business)
- investments in transport and/or distribution logistics
- products for which no realistic market can be demonstrated
- projects involving intervention stores
- upgrades to premises and/or equipment to meet requirements arising from statutory enforcement action or replacements under an insurance claim
- installation and purchase of solar panels
Support under this scheme can cover tangible assets such as purchasing and/or developing land, buildings, machinery and equipment and intangible assets such as computer software, patent rights and licences and technical and consultancy fees, subject to limitations (a-d):
- the construction, acquisition, or improvement of immovable property, with land purchase only being eligible up to 10% of the total eligible costs of the investment project
- the purchase of machinery and equipment up to the market value of the asset
- general costs linked to expenditure referred to in points (a) and (b), such as engineer and consultation fees, Project Management, fees relating to advice on environmental and economic sustainability to an extent not exceeding 12% of the total eligible costs of the investment project
- acquisition or development of computer software and acquisitions of patents, licenses, copyrights, trademarks.
Second hand equipment is eligible where the applicant can demonstrate the following:
- it complies with current health and safety legislation
- is fit for purpose
- has at least 5 years life expectancy remaining.
The following items are examples of expenditure which are not eligible for grant aid. This is not a definitive list, and all items of expenditure will be considered on a case-by-case basis:
- purchase of land, including associated expenses, where the costs exceed 10% of the total investment
- purchase of buildings which have previously been used for the same purpose
- any physical works on site carried out before the authorised start of work date (any such work carried out renders the whole award liable to cancellation)
- temporary works not directly related to the execution of the project
- purchase of vehicles for external or off-site transportation (forklift trucks, or similar, used for internal transportation and handling are eligible)
- purchase of trading stock
- working capital
- reclaimable VAT
- maintenance costs
- own labour and equipment costs
- like for like replacement of existing machinery and equipment
- consumables (items which are normally written off within a year)
- recreational equipment (though televisions, projectors etc. for educational or business purposes may be eligible)
- landscaping, ornamental work, and provision of leisure amenities
- general office equipment and furniture except desks, chairs, telephone equipment, computer and other IT equipment, software, laboratory and lecture-room equipment essential for the delivery of the project
- revenue costs such as salaries for key staff; training for directors and key staff; attendance at trade fairs; expenses of outside directors
- costs connected with a leasing contract such as the lessors margin, interest financing cost, overheads and insurance charges
- costs of arranging overdraft facilities, loans or other financial support instruments including any associated fees or other charges
- overheads allocated or apportioned at rates materially in excess of those used for any similar work carried out by the applicant
- notional expenditure
- payments for activity of a political nature
- depreciation, amortisation and impairment of assets purchased with the help of a grant
- contingent liabilities
- profit made by the applicant
- interest charges
- service charges arising on finance leases, hire purchase and credit arrangements
- costs resulting from the deferral of payments to creditors
- costs involved in winding up a company
- payments for unfair dismissal
- payments into private pension schemes
- payments for unfunded pensions
- compensation for loss of office
- compensation paid to third parties for expropriation, unharvested crops, etc.
- bad debts arising from loans to employees, proprietors, partners directors, guarantors, shareholders or a person connected with any of these
- payments for gifts and donations
- statutory fines and penalties
- statutory taxes (excluding irrecoverable taxes)
- criminal fines and damages
- legal expenses in respect of litigation
Costs related to the purchase and/or refurbishment and/or adaptation of any building must be appropriate to the scale, nature and intention of the project Grant must be primarily focused on the production and processing of products, offer clear and quantifiable benefits to the food and drink industry in Wales, and so cannot be used for the purpose of the acquisition of capital assets that are not essential for the delivery of the proposed activity.
Costs related to the purchase of equipment (either new and/or second hand) are only eligible for grant aid when the cost has been correctly defrayed by the claimant. Therefore, the full costs of any equipment secured under a hire purchase or lease hire agreement, or any other form of financial arrangement is not eligible for grant aid. In certain circumstances the capital element monthly payments may be eligible for a limited period, but separate rules will apply.
Maximum Grant Rate and Maximum Grant Threshold
The grant amount is made up from the total public sector contribution to the investment project which may include: monies from Welsh Government; monies from other government departments and agencies, non-departmental public bodies and local authorities; monies from governmental controlled bodies such as the Small Business Service and the National Lottery; and monies from Para-fiscal taxes (levies).
If other public funds are obtained to support the costs of a project, they will be discounted against the Food Business Accelerator grant.
The maximum grant threshold per enterprise for any individual investment project is £5,000,000
The minimum grant threshold per enterprise for any individual investment project is £20,000
FBAS Full – Maximum Grant request £5,000,000
The maximum grant rates are as follows –
40% of the total investment cost
The grant provides a maximum % contribution towards capital investments (excluding VAT) against actual invoiced costs.
For instance, if offered a grant towards the purchase of sausage making equipment with a value of £60,000 at 40%. The maximum grant offer will be £24,000.
Should the investment on completion, cost more than £60,000, the grant will be capped at the original cost submitted in the application i.e., 40% or £24,000.
Should the cost on completion of the investment be less than the original cost submitted in the application such as £58,000, the grant claim will be reduced to £23,200 (40% of actual spend).
Your application may exceed the maximum grant. If your EoI is selected, the related claim will be capped to the maximum £5,000,000.
Selecting Successful Projects
The initial EoI and selection process will confirm basic eligibility criteria have been satisfactorily met.
Project must be completed and claimed by the contract end date or 31 March 2025 whichever is the earlier. No claims received beyond this date will be paid.
That the project offers direct or indirect benefits to primary producers in the agriculture sector or offer clear and quantifiable benefits to the food and drink industry in Wales.
That there is a normal (viable) market outlet for the product(s) of the project.
That the project would not proceed without grant assistance.
That the amount of grant being asked for is the minimum gap funding necessary for the project to go ahead.
That you only have a live award for FBAS at any one time.
Full Applications must also demonstrate that the following have been addressed:
- Planning permission has been obtained, where required
- all other consents, licences and permissions have been granted, where required
- for existing businesses, the economic viability of the project and the business, through the provision of accounts for 3 consecutive years immediately preceding the date of the application and financial forecasts for the period of the project.
New businesses will be required to supply full details about the background and experiences of the directors along with other evidence necessary to validate the business plan and project proposals on how the following will be achieved:
- projects should promote and encourage equal opportunities and combat social exclusion
- key staff must be recruited through fair and open competition
- compliance with minimum standards and legislative requirements regarding the environment, hygiene, animal welfare and health and safety standards (to include approvals from the Meat Hygiene Service and the local Environmental Health Officer)
- availability of the necessary technical skills and competences within the business
- attain or exceed the ‘Excellent’ rating under the BREEAM environmental assessment framework, or equivalent where necessary
- Aspire to zero carbon emissions for all new buildings.
All items must be purchased in accordance with the Welsh Government Competitive Tendering and Procurement requirements. See Section XX for further details.
Ensure all infrastructure investments have been completed and all items purchased are on the premises at the time you submit your claim.
World Trade Organisation and Subsidy Control
Subsidies provided under this scheme are considered to be payments which fall within the Committee on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures.
As such, the scheme including individual awards over £100,000 will be notified under the UK subsidy control regime.
Welsh Government Economic Contract
Signing up to the Welsh Government Economic Contract will be required for all successful applicants prior to any offer of an award of funding.
Section C: Applying for FBAS
All Applicants must have registered on RPW Online prior to submitting the Expression of Interest (EoI), as all invites to Full Application will be made via RPW Online.
If you already have a Customer Reference Number (CRN) you should have received a letter informing you of your Activation Code to set up your account. If you no longer have this, please telephone the Customer Contact Centre on 0300 062 5004 (Monday – Thursday 8:30 – 17:00, Friday 8:30 – 16:30) and tell the operator your CRN. They will send you a new Activation Code.
To register your business details for the first time, you need to complete the online registration form. Please refer to the how to register guidance for further details. The vast majority of changes to business details can be done online. However, Welsh Government may require further details on any major changes. Please contact the Customer Contact Centre for further information.
Once registered, you can access your RPW Online account. The Nutrient Management Investment application is available from the “Applications and Claims” section of your account.
Agents acting on behalf of a client will need to register as a Rural Payments Wales agent. If you have yet to do this, you are advised to complete an online or paper copy Agent / Farming Union Customer Details (Wales) form immediately. The form is available on the Welsh Government website. Upon receipt of the form, we will send you an Agent Customer Reference Number (Agent CRN) and an RPW Online Activation Code. You will also need to complete an Association Authorisation Form which can be completed once you register with RPW Online, please refer to our how to register guidance.
If you have any questions about registering for RPW Online please contact the Customer Contact Centre on 0300 062 5004. They will be able to provide advice, including the digital assistance that is available to you.
Further details regarding RPW Online are available on the Welsh Government Website.
The application process for the FBAS is in 2 stages.
The first stage is an Expression of Interest (EoI) which can be submitted at any time within the timescale of the scheme or until the budget is fully committed
A selection process will be completed every 4 weeks. If your EoI is selected, you will be invited to complete a full application, which will be available to you via RPW Online together with all supporting documentation.
The second stage in the process will be appraisal of your full application. Appraisal will not commence unless all supporting documentation is received by the deadline.
Applicants that are considering submitting an EoI are encouraged to consider and prepare the business plan for their full application, in anticipation of being selected.
Completing an EoI
EoI applications are available from the Welsh Government Rural Grants and Payments webpages (Insert link)
Submitting an EoI
Completed EoI Applications must be submitted via the FBAS Mailbox FBAS@gov.wales
Withdrawal of EoIs
Applicants can withdraw an EoI at any point prior to scoring and selection by email request via the FBAS mailbox. If you withdraw after selection, you may not be able to apply for FBAS in the future.
Scoring and selection
All projects will be expected to deliver against the ambitions set out in A Vision for the Food and Drink Industry from 2021 ‘Building on Success’ Vision for the food and drink industry industry from 2021 (gov.wales)
‘To create a strong and vibrant Welsh food and drink sector with a global reputation for excellence, having one of the most environmentally and socially responsible supply chains in the world.’
To be selected a project must, as necessary, demonstrate:
Need for activity:
- the outputs are required and will deliver against the objectives of the scheme
Need for funding:
- it cannot proceed now without support
Ability to deliver:
- viability of the business
- legal compliance
- Ability to deliver the project within the timescales of the scheme
The greater the importance and contribution that the project investment can make to the appropriate strategic objectives of the Vision for Food & Drink, the more likely it is to be recommended for selection.
EoIs will be scored against criteria that contribute to the success of the Vision
Our Vision objective is that every year the turnover value of Wales’ food and drink sector will proportionately grow more than the rest of the UK, and to at least £8.5 billion by 2025.
Our headline vision for the food and drink industry promotes reaching the highest levels of environmental and social sustainability.
An economically vibrant and forward-thinking industry must be innovative to capture markets and move forward.
Fair Work, Skills Development and Career Pathways
Our approach to the food and drink industry has a key role in creating a prosperous and resilient Wales, guided by the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act. Fair Work means treating every worker with decency and respect. It includes fair pay, equality, health and safety, and skills development
Successful EoIs will be required to score a minimum threshold of Medium to progress to Full Application.
|High||The applicant has provided robust and detailed responses against all of the evidence required and demonstrates minimal risk.|
|Medium||The applicant has provided satisfactory and detailed responses against the evidence requirements and demonstrates a low level of risk.|
|Low||The applicant has provided incomplete or insufficient responses against the evidence requirements and demonstrates an unacceptable level of risk.|
There are 3 possible outcomes from the EoI stage:
- Your project is not eligible within the scheme criteria
- Your application has not achieved the benchmark score for selection to full application
- Your application is successful at EoI stage and will be invited to submit a full application.
If your application does not meet the scheme eligibility criteria or is not selected, you will be notified directly by email.
You will be notified within 6 weeks on the outcome of your EoI via your RPW Online account if successful.
Successful EoIs will be referred to a Case Manager who will discuss your proposal further with you.
Your proposal will be assessed against criteria that will demonstrate the expected value of the investment or project and the contribution that is expected to be made towards the objectives of the Food Business Accelerator Scheme.
Eligible projects will also be required to work with key stakeholders in order to develop a full and robust project proposal based on strong business cases which will be ranked against the aims of the scheme.
Selected EoIs: Accepting selection
If your EoI is selected, you will be notified via your RPW Online account. You must either accept or decline the offer of selection by completing and returning the Application Annex included with your selection notification letter to the Welsh Government via your RPW Online account by the date given in your letter. The Full application will be made available to you when the selection letter is issued.
We will issue a reminder via your RPW Online account prior to the deadline date in your letter.
The selection letter does not allow you to start work on the Project. You must not start any work until you receive an offer of a Contract via your RPW Online account. Any projects which breach this rule will not be considered for support.
If you do not accept selection, or do not reply to the Welsh Government by the date in the letter, your EoI will not progress further, and the offer of selection will be withdrawn and access to the full application will be removed.
Selected EoIs: Submitting a Full Application
If selected, the full application will be made available on your RPW Online account. Full applications must be consistent with the proposal outlined in the EoI.
You will be given 12 weeks to submit your full application and supporting
documents via your RPW Online account. The How to Complete booklet provides detailed instructions on how to do this.
At the full application, applicants will need to respond to questions based on:
- Strategic Fit
- Suitability of Investment
- Project delivery
- Risk and risk management
- Long term sustainability
- Value for money
- Project Management
- Financial and compliance
The application will ask you to explain how your project will contribute towards the Welsh Government’s cross cutting themes of:
- Equality of opportunity and Gender mainstreaming
- Tackling Poverty and Social Exclusion
- Welsh Language
The indicators and outcomes that will be monitored as a result of the investment are:
Growth – Value increase in Turnover
Productivity - Gross Value Added (GVA) per hour worked
Fair Work – Number of employees receiving at least the Welsh Living Wage
Number of New Markets Accessed
Number of Farm business supported
Number of new Accreditations
Number of New Awards
Food Hygiene Rating Scheme
In addition to completing the full application online you will need to submit the following supporting documents online for appraisal by the Welsh Government within 12 weeks of your selection notification:
- 3 Year Business Plan
- 3 Years of Certified Accounts
- 3 Quotes for each investment item equal to or over £5,000 and 1 quote for items under £5,000
- Evidence of funding available
- Planning Permission if appropriate and any other approvals/consents
- Independent evidence/verification from key stakeholders to support statements made under Suitability of Investment.
The business plan should provide full details of the business. As a minimum, the business plan should be for the next 3 years and include the following:
- Business details
- Executive Summary
- Key Assumptions
- Market Analysis – Opportunities & Threats
- Internal business Analysis – Strengths & Weaknesses
- Critical Success Factors
- Commercial Strategy
- Operations Strategy
- Activity Plan
- Financial Plans
- Risk Management
- Organisational Readiness
The assessment will not commence until the application and ALL of the supporting documentation has been received by the Welsh Government. You may provide other documentation and evidence in addition to the above to support your application.
You may use a consultant to prepare your application if you wish but it is your responsibility to ensure that the application is completed correctly, and that the information provided in support of your project is accurate.
Appraisal of the Full Application
The full application will be appraised in accordance with the Scheme Guidance and eligibility rules. It will be subject to full due diligence (where required), appraisal and eligibility checks and only at that point will a final decision be taken to offer a grant or reject the application. There is no guarantee that a project proposal will be approved for a grant.
We will aim to complete the appraisal of the application within 90 days of the application submission deadline. If you delay replying to requests for further information the application will be rejected.
The information provided will be assessed against the following rating criteria from which a decision can be taken about the award of grant to the project:
- High: The applicant has provided robust and detailed responses against all of the evidence requirements
- Medium: The applicant has provided satisfactory and detailed responses against most of the evidence requirements
- Low: The applicant has provided potentially incomplete or insufficient responses against one or more of the evidence requirements
The quality threshold is a rating of Medium across all categories.
Please note, we recommend you follow the guidance carefully in order to provide the information requested with the application
Appraisal Outcome and Contract Offer
There are 3 possible outcomes from full application appraisal:
- Your project is not eligible for the grant. You will be informed of the reasons why your application was not successful via your RPW Online account.
- Your project is eligible for consideration but is not approved for an award. You will be informed of the reasons why your application was not successful. You may apply again with the same project (amending the application if you wish) but only if you have not started work.
- Your project is eligible and is approved for an award. A contract will be issued to you setting out the terms and conditions of the award via your RPW Online account which you will be asked to accept within 30 days as agreement that you accept the terms and conditions therein. The contract will also provide you with the authority to start work. You will need to accept or decline the offer of contract within 30 days. Failure to accept the contract within 30 days will lead to the contract being withdrawn.
We will issue a reminder via your RPW Online account prior to the acceptance deadline date.
Full details of when your contract must be accepted and when items must be purchased and claimed for will be in the contract.
If you accept your offer of a contract, you will also be required to complete a delivery profile to confirm when you will be making your claims and the value.
If, after being selected, you decide not to proceed with your contract or fail to accept the offer of a contract within the time permitted, you may not be able to apply for FBAS in the future. If you decide to withdraw from the contract prior to completing the work or if you do not complete all the work approved in your contract, you may not be able to apply under FBAS in the future.
Subject to the requirements of the Welsh Government’s Code of Practice on Public Access to Information, the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004: all information given to the Welsh Government will be treated in strict confidence. You should be aware that if successful, the Welsh Government reserve the right to publish the name of your company, the amount of grant you were awarded and a summary of your project.
You must not start work until you have been offered your contract. If you do start work, the Welsh Government may reject the work started or terminate the contract and recover payments made.
Section D: Conditions of Grant
The FBAS is subject to a range of relevant legislation (see Section K). The Welsh Government and the applicant / recipient must act in accordance with that legislation.
The offer of a Food Business Accelerator grant is made subject to terms and conditions, which will be set out in full in your contract, including those set out below. The contract will commence from the date the contract is issued. Failure to meet the terms and conditions of the award could result in the cancellation of your award and/or the recovery of sums already paid, or a reduction of the amount of grant payable.
You will need to accept or decline the offer of contract within 30 days of the offer.
The award is made on the basis of statements made by you or your representatives in the application form and subsequent correspondence. You have given details that are true, accurate and complete to the best of your knowledge and belief on the applications and any supporting documentation. The making of false or misleading statements is an offence.
You must not begin any work on the project without first obtaining written authority to do so from Welsh Government. You must have bought the equipment and contacted RPW via RPW Online by the claim deadline within the contract offer. If you have not contacted RPW within that time, the grant offer will be automatically rejected.
The Welsh Government may need to update the rules and conditions to take account of changes to the UK’s legislative requirements, including the Government of Wales Act 2006.
You must meet any legal obligations imposed under UK law, including Health and Safety; employment; hygiene; environmental management and protection; animal or crop health and welfare that apply during the time of this project.
No alterations may be made to the project, including the location of the activity, without the written approval of Welsh Government.
You agree to abide by any changes following notification by the Welsh Ministers.
No equipment and/or buildings purchased with grant aid must be disposed of, transferred or sold without the prior written consent of Welsh Government during the project delivery and for 5 years from the project end date.
You acknowledge that neither Welsh Government nor any adviser appointed by Welsh Government shall be responsible for any advice given, including without limit any advice given in relation to the applications and that you are solely responsible for all business decisions undertaken.
You are required to comply with the rules on eligible expenditure as detailed in the relevant Scheme Guidance Note.
Claims must be submitted via the RPW Online Contract Claim form in the correct format and accompanied by all necessary documentation as required by the scheme. If not, they will not be accepted and will be returned to the claimant.
Claims must be submitted in accordance with the agreed timetable. You cannot change the agreed timing and value of your claims without written agreement from Welsh Government.
The first claim must be submitted no later than 4 months from the contract start date.
If the first claim is not made within this period, the grant offer will be automatically terminated.
Projects MUST be completed within the timetable agreed with Welsh Government. You cannot change this without written agreement from Welsh Government. No claims will be paid if received after 31 March 2025.
Grant can only be paid on expenditure that has been defrayed, that is, on payments that have cleared from a bank account.
All items must be purchased in accordance with the Welsh Government Competitive Tendering and Procurement requirements.
You undertake to meet any obligations in relation to obtaining planning permission, where necessary.
You must confirm that none of the items covered by the application are replacements under an insurance claim.
You must provide confirmation that no other public funding (whether from UK or other sources) has been sought. If it is found that you have received public funding from another source your claim may be rejected, payments may be recovered, and penalties may be applied.
Any publicity given to the project must make reference to the part played Welsh Government in funding it.
Records concerning the activity of the business and the delivery of the project, including all original invoices and other related documents such as competitive tenders or quotes, must be retained for at least 7 years after the project end date as stated in the contract.
You must allow representatives of Welsh Government, the Auditor General for Wales, or their representatives to inspect the project. On request, you must provide them with information and/or access to original documentation in relation to the project.
The information provided in the application and any supporting documentation is subject to the requirements of the Welsh Government’s Code of Practice on Public Access to Information, the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.
You should be aware that if successful, Welsh Government reserve the right to publish the name of your business or company, the amount of grant you were awarded and a summary of your project.
The information provided in the expression of interest and full applications is subject to the Privacy Notice. The Privacy Notice explains the Welsh Government’s processing and use of your personal data and your rights under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Section E: Competitive Tendering and Procurement
You must follow the Welsh Government guidance and requirements for Competitive Tendering & Procurement Technical Guidance Notes via the following:
Section F: Payments
The FBAS is only available to claim using the Contract Claim form on your RPW Online account. You may make interim claims during the period of your project. The Contract Claim Form How to Complete Guidance explains how to claim, and this will be issued when the award is confirmed and subsequently the claim is available.
Payments will be made following the successful validation of your claim. Claims will only be paid when the Welsh Government is satisfied the relevant expenditure has taken place and that the work has been completed in accordance with the contract. Payment will be made by electronic transfer to your bank account.
The first claim must be submitted no later than 4 months from the contract start date. If the first claim is not made within this period, the grant offer will be automatically terminated.
Final claims for payment of grant should be submitted as soon as possible after the physical work on the project has been completed and no later than the contract end date. All final claims must be received no later than 31 March 2025.
No extension to the final claim deadline will be granted beyond 31 March 2025.
Failure to complete the project and submit the final claim by the above deadline may result in the grant paid to date being recovered.
Projects MUST be completed within the timetable agreed with Welsh Government. You cannot change this without written agreement from Welsh Government.
During the lifetime of the grant, when claims are submitted, they may be scrutinised to ensure expenditure is eligible and in line with that approved in the original application.
Supporting documentation at Claim
To receive a FBAS payment, you must:
- Have accepted a FBAS contract within 30 calendar days of the offer date and adhere to all the requirements.
- Ensure that you have only undertaken investments listed in your contract after you have been offered a contract.
- Ensure that by the end of your contract, you have completed the project as was set out in your application and approved.
- Ensure all investments are undertaken in accordance the Welsh Government Competitive Tendering and Procurement requirements.
- Ensure all investments are on the premises at the time you submit your claim.
- Submit the claim using the Contract Claim form on your RPW Online account after your contract is issued, by the claim deadline given in your contract, with all supporting documentation.
We will issue a maximum of 2 reminders for any outstanding claims via your RPW Online account prior to the final claim submission deadline.
A claim is not considered valid unless it has been submitted via the RPW Online Contract Claim form with all supporting documentation.
You can submit a claim at any time once the investment has been completed.
Requests for extensions to the claim deadline can only be accepted in exceptional circumstances and must be explained and received in writing via your RPW Online account before the claim deadline. However, no extensions will be granted beyond 31 March 2025.
Supporting Documentation at Claim
You must submit the following with each claim:
- Evidence of defrayment of expenditure for all claimed items.
- Invoices for all claimed items.
Where evidence cannot be provided, the claim will be rejected.
Invoices must clearly display the word ‘invoice’ on the document and include the following:
- a unique identification number
- your company name, address, and contact information
- the invoicing company name and address
- a clear description of what you are being charged for
- the date the goods or service were provided (supply date)
- the date of the invoice
- the amount(s) being charged
- VAT amount if applicable
- the total amount owed
Defrayment should be evidenced by bank statements. If the value of the transaction does not match the invoice value (for instance if you have bought non project items from the same supplier) a breakdown of the whole payment with supporting invoices will be required.
If making payments by cheque, then a scan or photograph of the written cheque, before it is presented to the supplier, will be required in addition to the bank statement.
Incorrect claims and penalties
You have a responsibility to make sure that each claim submitted is arithmetically correct; that it is only for defrayed expenditure (the money has gone from your organisation’s bank account); that all the items and costs are eligible and that the claim is on time.
All of the investments approved must have been carried out after the contract has been accepted.
Your claim is incorrect if:
- you have undertaken investments before the contract is accepted.
- by the end of your contract, you have not completed the project as it was approved.
- you have not submitted a claim and supporting documents by the claim deadline. Not all of the investments claimed are present at a visit to your premises.
- investments are not undertaken in accordance with the Welsh Government Competitive Tendering and Procurement requirements.
If a claim is incorrect then it will be reduced to the amount that is eligible and the grant to be paid will be calculated accordingly. However, if the amount of ineligible items is determined to be more than 10% of the eligible costs, an amount equivalent to the value of ineligible items will be deducted from your payment.
It is essential that if you have any doubts about anything that you need for your project, that you request written confirmation of its eligibility before you incur the costs.
Where we find that items purchased do not meet the above requirements, payments will be reduced to the value of items purchased to requirements.
If the value of ineligible items is determined to be more than 10% of the eligible costs, an amount equivalent to the value of ineligible items will be deducted from your payment.
A customer claims the following FBAS items worth a total £49,000 on one claim.
Automated IT system
Sausage making equipment
Example 1: the item worth £3,000 was purchased before approval so this is the ineligible which is less than 10% of the eligible costs (£46,000) so the total payment due is £46,000.
Example 2: the conveyor belts worth £6,000 was not available for inspection, this makes £6,000 ineligible. The ineligible item is deducted from the original claim of £49,000 leaving an eligible of £42,000. As the value of the ineligible item is more than 10% of the eligible costs (£42,000), an amount equivalent to the value of ineligible item or £6,000 is also deducted from the remaining amount. The total payment due is £36,000.
If you do not complete investments in accordance with the Welsh Government Competitive Tendering and Procurement requirements penalties may be applied to your claim/s.
Changes to an approved project
A project change or re-evaluation is the process of agreeing significant changes to an approved project. If your project delivery is going to be different to what was agreed, you need to request a re-evaluation asking for approval of the changes.
Any changes to a project must be agreed by the grantor in writing. When you notify us that your project needs to be modified, we will explain to you how the changes will be treated. We will issue Re-evaluation Guidance to you with your contract.
Regulation 13 of the Rural Development Programmes (Wales) Regulations 2014 (No. 3222 (W.327)) establishes criminal offences and penalties in relation to certain aspects of rural development funding. That Regulation and those offences are applicable to the Horticultural Development Scheme. Examples of offences include knowingly or recklessly providing false or misleading information in relation to rural development funding, obstructing an inspector or official, and refusing to provide information when requested to do so.
Section G: Changes to scheme rules
Legislation Changes (Including Changes in Interpretation)
Legislation may change from time to time, and you will be required to abide by any changes to the scheme rules following notification from the Welsh Government.
Changes to Scheme Rules or Contract
We may need to make changes to the scheme rules and/or your contract for a number of reasons. For example, we may need to update the management conditions to take account of the latest scientific advice, amend scheme rules to take account of any changes to legislation. We will publicise changes on the Welsh Government website and where necessary contact you directly.
Section H: Controls, Monitoring and Record Keeping
The Welsh Government must enforce the FBAS Scheme rules.
Your claim may be selected for a visit to verify the realisation of the investment before the payment is made to you or it may be selected for a visit after the payment has been made.
All the details in your application, the details in your claim and the declarations that you made in submitting the application and claim will be checked.
The Welsh Government and the specialist control bodies will try to ensure that visits cause you the minimum of disruption, but some checks require visits to be unannounced, which means it may not be possible to give you notice. You may be subject to more than one visit during a calendar year.
If you refuse to allow a visit or obstruct an officer or fail to give reasonable assistance, your claim may not be paid, we may recover payments and you may be prosecuted.
It is a requirement that all grant awards are monitored and the effect of the grant on the business is evaluated following completion.
You must allow officials from Welsh Government, or their representatives, to inspect the items purchased within this 5-year period.
During the lifetime of the grant, when claims are submitted, they may be scrutinised to ensure expenditure is eligible and in line with that approved in the original application.
On completion of the physical works, the project site will be visited and a detailed assessment of the project undertaken. The information that will be required at the visit includes: original invoices; serial/plant numbers; Building Regulations completion certificate (where appropriate); Health & Safety system including risk analysis; Fire Risk Assessment documents in accordance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005; Cleaning Regime records; Pest control records and Quality Control records. The release of grant will be conditional upon adequate progress having been made.
It will be a requirement of the grant award that equipment purchased with the aid of a grant must be kept in situ, operational and in good repair, and used for the same purpose as set out in the original application, for at least 5 years from the date of completion of the project as set out in the contract. This is to ensure the longevity of the project and to guarantee primary producers a lasting share of the project’s benefits.
Site visits will be made on a percentage of the projects approved within 5 years following final completion (Project End Date) to ensure the applicant still has and is using the equipment purchased with the grant and that the business is performing as expected.
You must keep all records and information you need to evidence that you have provided complete and accurate information and have complied with your undertakings for 5 years.
You will also be required to:
- Supply to the Welsh Government any information about your FBAS contract and supply that information within the period determined by the Welsh Government.
- Make available to the Welsh Government, its authorised persons or its agents, records, accounts, receipts, and other information including access to computer data relating to your FBAS contract. Permit the Welsh Government to remove any such document or record to take copies or extracts from them.
Section I: Appeals and Complaints Procedure
There are no grounds for appeal at the EoI stage.
The ‘Independent Appeals Process for Rural Grants and Payments’ allows you to request a review if you feel the Welsh Government has not reached a correct decision according to the rules of the scheme.
The appeals process consists of 2 stages:
- Stage 1: review by RPW
- Stage 2: review by an Independent Appeals Panel (if you are dissatisfied with the Stage 1 response).
The Independent Panel make recommendations to the Welsh Ministers, who take the final decision, which concludes the process.
There is no charge for Stage 1 of the process, but there is a charge at Stage 2 – £50 for a written hearing or £100 for an oral hearing. These charges are repaid in full if the Stage 2 appeal is either partially or fully successful.
Appeals, including supporting evidence, must be submitted via RPW Online within 60 days of the date of the letter outlining the decision you wish to appeal against.
We welcome receiving appeals in Welsh and will respond to any correspondence in Welsh. This will not lead to a delay in processing your appeal.
Further details of the appeals process and how to submit an appeal using the online appeal form, can be obtained from the Customer Contact Centre or our website at: Rural grants and payments appeals | Sub-topic
Complaints will be dealt with under the Welsh Government’s procedure on Complaints. Further advice on how to make a complaint can be obtained from the Complaints Advice Team:
Tel: 03000 251378
Website: Complaints about Welsh Government
You may also choose to contact the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales:
1 Ffordd yr Hen Gae
Tel: 0300 790 0203
Section J: Privacy notice - Welsh Government grants
How we will handle any personal data you provide in relation to your grant application or request for grant funding.
The Welsh Government provides a wide range of grant schemes to help deliver our policies and create a fairer, more prosperous Wales.
The Welsh Government will be data controller for any personal data you provide in relation to your grant application or request for grant funding. The information will be processed as part of our public task (i.e. exercising our official authority to undertake the core role and functions of the Welsh Government) and will help us assess your eligibility for funding.
Before we provide grant funding to you, we undertake checks for the purposes of preventing fraud and money laundering, and to verify your identity. These checks require us to process personal data about you to third party fraud prevention agencies.
If we, or a fraud prevention agency, determine that you pose a fraud or money laundering risk, we may refuse to provide the grant funding you applied for, or we may stop providing existing grant funding to you.
A record of any fraud or money laundering risk will be retained by the fraud prevention agencies, and may result in others refusing to provide services, financing or employment to you.
In order to assess eligibility, we may also need to share personal information relating to your application with:
- Natural Resources Wales
- Animal and Plant Health Agency
- Veterinary Medicine Directorate
- Welsh Local Authorities
- Food Standards Agency Wales
- Other UK Government Agriculture Offices
- Regulatory authorities, such as HM Revenue and Customs, Local Authorities, Health and Safety Executive and the Police.
We may also share your information with organisations which deliver training, knowledge transfer and innovation advice and support on behalf of the Welsh Government for the purposes of appropriate targeting of support.
Your information, including your personal information, may be the subject of a request by another member of the public. When responding to such requests the Welsh Government may be required to release information, including your personal information, to fulfil its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Environmental information Act 2004 or the Data Protection Act 2018.
The Welsh Government will publish details of the amounts paid to Rural Support beneficiaries. Data will be published for all beneficiaries on a searchable website and will include the name and locality of the farmer/land manager and details of the amounts and schemes for which subsidy has been paid. However, for those receiving less than the equivalent of £1,250 in subsidies the name will be withheld. The data will be published annually on 31 May and remain available for two years from the date it is published. The information will be available on the Defra website at: www.cap-payments.defra.gov.uk
We will keep personal information contained in files in line with our retention policy. If successful in your application, then your personal data will be kept for 7 years after the date when you, as grant recipient, are free from all conditions relating to the grant awarded and all payment have been made. If you are unsuccessful, your details will be kept for one year after the date you provided them.
Under the data protection legislation, you have the right:
- to access the personal data the Welsh Government holds on you
- to require us to rectify inaccuracies in that data
- to (in certain circumstances) object to or restrict processing
- for (in certain circumstances) your data to be ‘erased’
- to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) who is the independent regulator for data protection.
For further details about the information the Welsh Government holds and its use, or if you want to exercise your rights under the GDPR, please see contact details below:
Data Protection Officer
The contact details for the Information Commissioner’s Office are:
2nd Floor, Churchill House
Telephone: 0330 414 6421
Should you have any queries regarding this privacy statement please contact the RPW Customer Contact Centre.
Section K: Legislation
The Food Business Accelerator Scheme delivers against a range of Government commitments and objectives, these are listed below along with the legislation and governance that applies.
The Food Business Accelerator Scheme is governed by Retained EU Law (REUL) Council Regulations No. 1305/2013, 1303/2013 and 1306/2013, Implementing Regulation No. 808/2014 and No. 809/2014 and Delegated Regulation 640/2014 and 807/2014 (all as amended from time to time).
The retained EU Law is implemented in Wales through the following domestic law (all as amended from time to time), including by the Agricultural Support (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Wales) (EU Exit) Regulations 2021/400 (W.129):
- the Rural Development Programmes (Wales) Regulations 2014/3222 (W.327)
- the Common Agricultural Policy (Integrated Administration and Control System and Enforcement and Cross Compliance) (Wales) Regulations 2014/3223 (W.328)
Funding support for farmers, land managers and associated food and rural sectors over the next 3 years in response to 4 Welsh Government strategic objectives which are:
- fostering the competitiveness of agriculture
- contributing towards the sustainable management of natural resources as set out in Part 1 of the Environment (Wales) Act 2016
- ensuring climate resilience
- achieving a balanced territorial development of rural economies and communities including the creation and maintenance of employment
The Scheme will also ask applicants to report how your project will contribute towards the Welsh Governments cross cutting themes of:
- Equality of opportunity and Gender mainstreaming
- Tackling Poverty and Social Exclusion
- Welsh Language
In addition, applications for the Food Business Accelerator Scheme will address the strategic and thematic objectives of the Welsh Government.
Activities will address at least one of the following Welsh Government priorities:
- fostering knowledge transfer and innovation in agriculture, forestry, and rural areas
- enhancing farm viability and competitiveness of all types of agriculture in all regions and promoting innovative farm technologies and the sustainable management of forests
- promoting food chain organisation, including processing and marketing of agricultural products, animal welfare and risk management in agriculture
- restoring, preserving and enhancing ecosystems dependent on agriculture and forestry
- promoting resource efficiency and supporting the shift towards a low carbon and climate resilient economy in the agriculture, food and forestry sectors
- promoting social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas.
World Trade Organisation and Subsidy Control
Subsidies provided under this scheme are considered to be payments under an environmental programme, which fall within the scope of Annex II of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) and have been classified as ‘green box’.
As such, these subsidies are exempt from the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) and the interim UK subsidy control regime.
Section L: Contacts
Enquiries regarding EoI
For enquiries regarding the EoI, please contact FBAS@gov.wales
All other enquiries: Customer Contact Centre
For all enquiries, please contact the RPW Customer Contact Centre
Enquiries can be submitted via RPW Online at any time.
Access to Welsh Government offices for people with disabilities or special needs
If you have any special needs which you feel are not met by our facilities, contact the Customer Contact Centre on 0300 062 5004. Welsh Government officials will then endeavour to make arrangements to accommodate your requirements.
Welsh Government Website
For all of the latest Agricultural and Rural Affairs information, visit the Welsh Government’s website. By visiting the website, you can also sign up to receive the Rural Affairs e-newsletter which delivers the latest news directly to your e-mail inbox.
The Gwlad e-newsletter is the Welsh Government’s e-newsletter for farm and forestry businesses and all those involved with agriculture and rural Wales. It contains news stories, guidance, and information in an accessible, easy-to-read format. To keep informed and up to date with all the latest agriculture news and developments in future we would encourage you to sign up to receive the Gwlad e-newsletter. You can do this either at www.gov.wales/news-alerts or at Subscribe to farming and forestry news (Gwlad).