Wednesday, 4 November 2009

More farmers now eligible for the Young Entrants Support Scheme

Rural Affairs Minister, Elin Jones, has widened the eligibility criteria for the forthcoming Young Entrants Support Scheme (YESS). The scheme will now be open to applicants who have set up as head of holding for the first time up to 12 months before submitting their application.

YESS is being introduced to encourage and support new entrants into farming. The scheme will provide grants, business support and mentoring to farmers taking over the running of farming businesses.

Speaking about the changes, the Minister said:

"I have received a great deal of positive and constructive feedback since announcing the details of the YESS scheme at this year’s Royal Welsh. In response to this, I have decided to change the eligibility criteria for the scheme so that it includes those applicants who have set up as head of holding for the first time up to 12 months prior to their application. This recognises the difficulty that some may have in securing their head of holding status in the same year that they are applying for the scheme, and making their capital investment.

"The change will also ensure that tenant farmers have an equal opportunity to take part in the scheme. Farming tenancies are an important way for young people to take their first steps in managing their own farm business, and the availability of new tenancies may not have fitted in with the original structure of the scheme. The change will assure those young people considering taking up a tenancy before the application window opens that, if they do so, they will not jeopardise their eligibility for the scheme."

The Welsh Assembly Government is also looking to attract mentors from the agricultural, business and professional sectors who would consider using their expertise to help young entrants into farming establish themselves in the crucial first years of business.

The YESS scheme is open to young farmers (under 40) who possess the necessary skills and competence and are setting-up as head of the holding for the first time or have set-up as head of holding for the first time within the previous 12 months.

The YESS scheme will open for applications at the start of 2010 and applications forms will be available from the end of this year. Details of the scheme are available on the Welsh Assembly Government website.


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