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How to Apply

All applications for the new Rural Development Contracts - Rural Priorities (RDC-RP) will be submitted online.

You can apply at any time of the year. Once your full Proposal has been accepted, assessed and scored by your Case Officer, it will normally go forward to the next assessment round held by the Regional Proposal Assessment Committee (RPAC) unless it is being dealt with under the "ongoing approval" process. The RPAC will select which Proposals will be recommended to Ministers for approval.

Before You Apply

We are committed to assisting you to make this process as easy and efficient as possible.

This guidance is designed to guide you through the online application process and provide you with other relevant and helpful information about the RDC- RPs.

  • Before you are able to apply online, you must obtain a Business Reference Number (BRN) by submitting a completed Land and Business Change form.
  • If you do not own or let land you will be issued with a Main Location Code (MLC), in the parish where you have a postal address or are based, and a Business Reference Number.
  • If you wish someone else to submit your application on your behalf you need to fill in an Agent's Mandate form (form AA1). This mandate will remain in effect until revoked by you. If you have more than one agent, please see the guidance on how agents can also create multiple agent assistants, to submit applications on their behalf.
  • New users of Rural Payments Online will need to register and enrol to obtain a Government Gateway user ID. When registering, you will be asked for a log on number (provided by the Helpdesk on: 0845 601 7597) and your BRN or, for agents, an Agent Identifier.
  • Once this has been completed, you can access Rural Payments Online using your Government Gateway User ID and Password.

A help desk facility is available for those who need assistance accessing Rural Payments Online.

However, some applications are instead dealt with using the ongoing approval process:

(a) Ongoing approval process for forestry option only applications

If your Proposal is limited to specific Regional Priorities and only contains Forestry Options then we may be able to approve your application without referring it to the RPAC. Your application will still be assessed and scored in the normal way and must achieve the threshold score set by the National Proposal Assessment Committee (NPAC).

(b) Ongoing approval process for Regional Priority 9 applications

If your Proposal does not exceed £50k in value and is entirely under Regional Priority 9 (i.e. addressing SSSI or Natura sites) we may be able to approve it without referring it to the RPAC. Your application will still be assessed and scored in the normal way and must achieve the threshold score set by the NPAC.

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