In February, the Government provided details about the proposed Lump Sum Exit Scheme (the Scheme) which will be made available in England shortly.
What is the Lump Sum Exit Scheme?
The Scheme is designed to encourage anyone who wishes to leave farming to do so in exchange for a lump sum payment. The two main objectives are:
1. to help farmers who wish to retire or leave farming to do so in a planned way and with
some money to ‘start afresh’; and
2. to free up land for new entrants and existing farmers who wish to expand.
Are you eligible?
To be eligible, applicants must either have claimed, or been eligible to claim, BPS payments in the 2018 scheme year or an earlier year or inherited agricultural land in England, or succeeded to an Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 tenancy, after 15 May 2018.
The Scheme is available to owner-occupiers and tenants who have an FBT under the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995 or an Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 tenancy (or equivalent).
How does it work?
In order to receive the lump sum payment, applicants must:
1. transfer their agricultural land (although they can keep up to 5 hectares) or plant it with trees under a woodland creation scheme;
2. transfer grazing or pannage rights that they have on common land, if any; and
3. surrender their BPS entitlements.
It is anticipated that the Scheme will open in April 2022 and you will be able to apply from April until the end of September 2022.
The deadline for transferring the land/rights and surrendering BPS entitlements is 31 May 2024.
If you want to know more about the Scheme and how we can assist you, Clare Harris has a wealth of knowledge on succession planning for farming families and Sam East can give you practical guidance on the property aspects of the Scheme.
Please get in touch with Head of Agriculture, Stephanie Wilcox, in the first instance.