News story

Drop-in centre opening hours extended ahead of BPS deadline

Ahead of the 15 June BPS deadline, the Rural Payments Agency has extended the opening hours at most of its drop-in centres.

Image showing a map of Great Britain with the words 'Visit one of our 50 drop-in centres' over it.

Almost 60,000 completed Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) applications have now been received by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) - but with one week remaining, farmers are urged to submit their BPS 2015 applications as soon as possible.

Farmers who have not yet submitted their claim forms should take them to one of 50 drop-in centres or, if using post, use a signed-for, next-day delivery service.

Opening hours at most drop-in centres have been extended including this weekend of 14/15 June and up to midnight on the final day (Monday 15 June). Full details of locations and opening times can be found on the interactive map on GOV.UK at www.gov.uk/find-help-to-claim-rural-payments.

Farmers taking their forms direct to a drop-in centre will be offered a basic check-and-receipt service. The check will ensure applicants have included their Single Business Identifier (SBI) number, land data, filled in the active farmer section and signed the declaration. Agents with five or more claims should book an appointment via the Rural Payments helpline on 03000 200 301.

In addition to extending drop-in centre opening hours, the RPA has also set up a phone service that allows farmers that applied by post to check their claim has been received by the Agency. The RPA is also issuing reminder texts, letters and emails to those agents and farmers who have yet to claim. The RPA is also contacting farmers when initial checks on their claims show further information is required.

The RPA’s Customer Director Justin Chamberlain said:

“At this stage, farmers and agents are advised to hand in their claim form at their nearest drop-in centre or mobile support unit, rather than rely on the postal service. If you do decide to post, be sure to use a signed-for, next-day delivery service.

“If you have already posted your form to us, from this week you can now check if we have received it by using our automated service. Call our helpline on 03000 200 301 and have your SBI ready.”

Where to find us this week

RPA will be out and about again this week at a range of events and locations to help farmers who have yet to apply for BPS 2015 – including at Cereals (10th-11th, Stand 910) and the Royal Three Counties (12th-14th, Stand 3009). Bring your forms along if you are already planning to attend.

In addition, mobile support units will be available to receive your completed claim forms at the following locations:

  • 9 June: Lyndhurst Community Centre (main car park, off High Street), Lyndhurst, Hampshire, SO43 7NY 3pm to 9pm
  • 9 June: Southern County Auctioneers, Salisbury Agricultural Centre, Salisbury Road, Netherhampton, SP2 8RH 9am to 2pm
  • 10 June: Truro Livestock Centre, Newquay Road, Truro, TR1 1RH 9am to 2pm
  • 10 June: Richardson & Smith, Ruswarp Market, Ruswarp, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO22 5JA 9am to 2:30pm
  • 10 June: Barbers Auctions Ltd, Market Drayton Livestock Market, Adderley Road, Market Drayton, Shropshire, TF9 3SW 9:30am to 3pm
  • 11 June: Kington Livestock Market, Love Lane, Kington, Herefordshire, HR5 3BT 9am to 2pm
  • 12 June: Frome Livestock Auctioneers Ltd, Frome Market, Standerwick, Frome, Somerset, BA11 2QB 9:30am to 2:30pm
  • 13 June: Sedgemoor Auction Centre, Greenslade Taylor and Hunt, Somerset, North Petherton, TA6 6DF 9am to 3pm
  • 15 June: Darlington farmers Auction Mart Co. Ltd, Bank Top Mart, Clifton Road, Darlington, DL1 5DU 8am to 3pm

Need a claim form?

You can choose the option that suits you best:

  • Get an email version of the pre-populated form on the same day you request it – call RPA, pass security and provide a contact email address.
  • A printed pre-populated form can be made available for next day collection at all drop-in centres except Farnham, Hereford, Norwich and Tunbridge Wells. See the online interactive map for your nearest drop-in centre.
  • You may also decide to collect a blank BP5 form from your nearest drop-in centre or print off one yourself from GOV.UK/rpa/bps.

Receipts of posted BP5 forms

There is a new way to check that BP5s sent to RPA by post have been received:

  • If you post BP5 forms to us, we will issue a receipt by first class post.
  • If you have not received a receipt within five working days of sending us your form, please contact us. You can call the RPA on 03000 200 301 and select option 1. An automated telephone service then allows you to key in an individual SBI and the system will check against forms received and you will be told if we have received the form. This is only available for BP5 forms sent to us by post.
  • If an agent has been provided with ‘BPS submit’ permission, receipts for posted applications will be posted to the agent’s address rather than to the customer.

Environmental schemes

Farmers and land managers who are claiming under existing agri-environment or woodland grant schemes are reminded that their deadline is also 15 June. Claimants should submit their applications as soon as possible and contact Natural England or the Forestry Commission, if they need help.

Published 8 June 2015