Ornamental horticulture COVID-19 support scheme now open

Friday, 16 October, 2020

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) says the opening of the coronavirus (COVID-19) support scheme for ornamental horticulture is a vital development. It is aimed at eligible growers including cut flowers, whose incomes were severely impacted by COVID-19 restrictions and market disruptions. £1.6million from the £25million support package announced earlier in the year, has been allocated to help sustain the sector as the pandemic continues.

UFU deputy president William Irvine said, “This is the latest strand of the COVID-19 support scheme which saw £21.4million being distributed among the agriculture and horticulture sectors. Following the opening of the ornamental horticulture scheme, we are encouraging eligible growers to apply as soon as possible. The funding will provide critical support to the ornamental horticulture sector which is a key contributor to our local economy delivering more than £25million each year.

“Our growers have experienced serious market disruptions due to COVID-19 with many sale routes being stalled completely during the sector’s busiest period. This financial support will help compensate for the losses incurred ensuring that their businesses are sustained as we shift into the final quarter of what has been a very difficult year for the entire horticulture and agriculture industry.” 

A sum of just over £7million based on the remaining funding of £3.6million from the £25million support package and the £3.6million that was reprioritised from within DAERA, was retained. Mr Irvine says it is encouraging to have these funds available should any challenges or issues arise in the coming weeks.

To apply for the ornamental horticulture COVID-19 support scheme, click here. Applications close on Sunday 15 November 2020.