Northumberland farmers paid £48m in SPS

Ploughing near Belford.
Ploughing near Belford.

The Rural Payments Agency has paid 1,869 farmers from Northumberland £48,622,564 so far in the 2014 Single Payment Scheme window.

The news comes as the Agency reported it exceeded its 2014 target for the end of March, more than two months ahead of schedule.

Nationally, by January 28, the RPA had paid a total of £1.46billion to nearly 100,000 farmers in England. This equates to 98.4 per cent of farmers eligible to claim and 97.3 per cent of the total estimated fund value.

RPA planning and performance director John Carter said: “We are delighted with this performance but we will not be resting on our laurels.

“Our focus now is to ensure farmers who have not yet received their money are paid as soon as possible, while preparing for the Basic Payment Scheme, which replaces SPS for 2015.

“I would encourage farmers who want to get their BPS money as early as possible to register now, either online or by calling 03000 200301.This applies to existing SPS customers who need to be aware that although their details will be transferred across, they still need to go in and register on the new service.”