It is just about a year since TAMS III was launched, the replacement for the popular TAMS II, and since then there have been thousands of applications for the host of investments contained within it.

With TAMS III came the inclusion of various new schemes such as the Farm Safety Capital Investment Scheme and the Women Farmer Capital Investment Scheme.

Throughout the 10 sub-schemes contained within TAMS III, there has been both the inclusion of new grant-aided investments, while at the same time investments that had previously been eligible under TAMS II have been removed.

It hasn’t been smooth sailing so far.

The acceptance of all eligible applications under the tranche, some 8,203, combined with IT issues within the Department have meant major delays in the processing of applications, with many farmers still awaiting approval letters some 10 months after first applying.

There is also the increased specification for investments, the relatively low reference costs of investments and the increased paperwork associated with applying and sourcing materials, all of which can be offputting to farmers, with some opting to forgo the grant and make the investments on their own merit. In a time where building costs are still close to Covid-19 levels, and with input costs across all sectors at an all-time high as well; ignoring TAMS aid is something that you really need to question.

Would you be quicker to just go ahead and do the investment without grant aid? More than likely yes, but how much extra is this going to cost you? Yes, there is increased specifications when it comes to sourcing materials, increased steel reinforcement and the need to galvanise all structural steel for farm buildings.

However, this has been implemented by the Department to ensure that not only are the investments to the highest quality but that they will have a greater lifespan than non-grant spec investments.