Farming Investment Fund – Water Management Grant


Phillip Norden

Phillip Norden

Jun, 02 2023

On 19th April 2023, the second round of the Water Management Grant opened. This grant is available to arable and horticultural businesses growing, or intending to grow, irrigated food crops, ornamentals or forestry nurseries in England.

The grants can cover up to a maximum rate of 40% of the eligible costs of a project, with the minimum grant being £35,000 (40% of £87,500), and maximum being £500,000 per applicant per funding round.

The grant is designed to help improve farm productivity – driving more efficient use of water for irrigation, by adopting best practice irrigation application equipment and securing water supplies through construction of on-farm reservoirs.  

As with the first round, there is, again, a two-step application process.   

The first step is to complete the online checker, which is designed to determine your eligibility and whether your project fits the funding priorities.

The deadline to use the online checker is 12th July 2023. Visit here to get started.

Once you’ve established you’re eligible and have received an invitation to make a full application, you will have until 31 October 2024 to do so, completing the second step.

But note that before you submit your full application, you will need to secure any planning permission and abstraction licences. 

Below we have put together some examples of eligible costs to help you understand how you could use the grant to improve your productivity.

Reservoir construction and infrastructure

You can use the grant to pay for:

  • abstraction point including pump
  • construction of reservoir walls
  • electricity installation for pumphouse
  • fencing for synthetically lined reservoir
  • filtration equipment – including sand or screen filters and UV treatment
  • irrigation pump(s) and controls
  • overflow/spillway
  • pipework to fill the reservoir
  • pumphouse
  • synthetic liner
  • underground water distribution main and hydrants
  • water meter
  • water tanks to store abstracted water or harvested rainwater for irrigation of crops

Irrigation equipment

You can use the grant to install irrigation equipment such as:

  • boom
  • capillary bed
  • ebb and flow
  • mist
  • sprinklers
  • trickle


  • equipment to monitor soil moisture levels and schedule irrigation
  • equipment and sensors to best use water application

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