How to apply for a Calf Housing for Health and Welfare grant

Updated 14 March 2024

Applies to England

The application process for the grant has 3 stages:

  • Stage 1: online checker
  • Stage 2: Ambient Environment Assessment
  • Stage 3: full application

1. Stage 1: online checker

The online checker closed at 11.59pm on 30 November 2023. No new applications can be accepted for this grant.

The online checker was used to make an initial online application.

This service allowed you to: 

  • check if you could apply for a grant for your project (about 20 minutes) 
  • checked how well your project fitted the funding priorities (about 20 minutes if you have all the project details)

2. Stage 2: Ambient Environment Assessment

If you’re eligible to apply, and your project scores well enough against the funding priorities at stage 1, we’ll send you an Ambient Environment Location and Design form to complete. You’ll use this to tell us details of the design and specification of your proposed calf housing building.

We will assess the details to check that the proposed housing will be able to maintain a suitable ambient environment for the calves housed within it. You can read about the requirements and recommendations in the Ambient environment section of the grant specifications guidance.

If your calf housing building does not meet the standard requirements and recommendations, we may request additional information from you and share your information with third party experts in calf housing for further assessment.

2.1 What information you need to provide at Ambient Environment Assessment

You will need to provide more details about your project including:

  • the postcode of your project site
  • site photographs including compass directions (north, south, east and west), sheltering features, prevailing wind direction, and buildings and areas used by adult cattle and their distance from the site of your calf house
  • plans detailing building dimensions, wall height, cladding, and location of mechanical ventilation systems (these can be hand-drawn)
  • specifications of mechanical ventilation, if fitted
  • information on your calves, such as age and group size
  • other relevant information, such as whether heat lamps are fitted

You must email your Ambient Environment Location and Design form before 11.59pm on 30 April 2024.

3. Stage 3: full application

If your Ambient Environment Assessment details are satisfactory, we will invite you to make a full application and send you the application forms.

You need to complete the forms and email these, with your supporting documents, to RPA at

You must email your application and all supporting documents before 11.59pm on 30 April 2025.

RPA will assess how well the project meets the grant funding priorities. This will affect your overall project score.

3.1 What you’ll need for your full application forms

You will need to provide more details about your project.

Use the:

  • same project that you used in your Stage 1: online application and your Stage 2: Ambient Environmental Assessment
  • project number provided by RPA in your invitation to apply for a full application

We know that some minor project details may have changed since the online application was completed, such as changes to project costs as they are finalised. However, the main details of your project should not be significantly different to your online application.

You need to contact RPA by email before you submit your full application if you need to discuss significant changes to your online application. If the full application is significantly different, the application may be rejected.

3.2 What information you need to provide at full application

The full application is in 2 parts, a Word form and an Excel spreadsheet.

You will need to provide:

  • information about you, your business and project
  • a breakdown of project costs
  • supplier details
  • project milestones
  • an explanation of how the project will be funded
  • detailed specification of the building
  • scale plans demonstrating building design and layout
  • site plans showing location, orientation and locations of your project site and buildings housing older livestock
  • aerial images showing features in the surrounding environment, such as other farm buildings, or geographical points of interest that may influence your building such as hillsides and levels of exposure
  • evidence of the prevailing wind direction
  • details of passive and mechanical ventilation for the proposed calf house
  • solar exemption roof details
  • existing calf numbers and future expansion

3.3 Other supporting documents

You will need to provide the following supporting documents, if relevant to your project:

  • a copy of a signed and dated tenancy agreement with the owners of the land or buildings at the project location, if the applicant business does not own them
  • financial accounts for the most recent 3 years of trading
  • latest tax returns, management accounts, or a statement of income and expenses from an accountant if you have been trading for less than 2 years
  • planning permission approval
  • relevant permissions and consents in addition to planning permission
  • 3 quotes, references to catalogue listings or formal tenders for each item valued at £5,000 or more
  • 1 quote for any item valued up to £4,999.99
  • quotes that provide detailed specifications for the building, fixtures and fittings showing the proposed housing meets the CHHW requirements
  • evidence of availability of your project funding
  • confirmation from the supplier of any second-hand item that it is expected to last for at least 5 years, is fit for purpose and has not received previous grant funding
  • details and (at least draft) agreements between parties where collaborations or partnerships are declared
  • evidence where you are eligible to, and intend to, include irrecoverable VAT in your project costs (such as a letter from a Chartered Accountant or HMRC)
  • a letter from a vet confirming that the calf housing proposals have been discussed with them. This can be part of the Annual Health and Welfare Review.

4. How your application is assessed

If your project is still eligible for a grant at the full application stage, we will also assess your application based on the following criteria.

4.1 Funding priorities

We will score how well the project meets the theme requirements and funding priorities. Successful projects will:

  • improve calf health and welfare
  • enhance environmental sustainability
  • introduce innovation

You will have a stronger application the more you meet the grant’s funding priorities.

4.2 Financial viability

Your project will be assessed to make sure that it is viable. We will assess the current financial viability of your business and how you will fund the project until the grant is claimed.

4.3 Delivery and sustainability

We will assess how you’ll meet the project timelines and mitigate any risks to project delivery.

5. When you’ll find out if you’re successful

We aim to give you a decision on your application within 60 working days from receipt of a complete full application.

If you are offered a grant, we will send a Grant Funding Agreement (GFA) for you to sign and return. This will set out the legal terms and conditions of the grant, including the:

  • amount of the grant
  • outputs we have agreed for your project
  • information we require during the project for monitoring and evaluation activities

If you need to change anything in the GFA over the course of the project, you must get written agreement from RPA first. If you do not, we could end your agreement and reclaim any grant we have already paid. You’ll get more information and help with this if you are offered a grant.

6. If your application is unsuccessful

If your application is unsuccessful, we will write to you to tell you why. If you’re unhappy with the decision, you can complain to us in writing, by email or by telephone. If you remain unhappy with our decision, you may be able to appeal.

7. Contact RPA

Contact the Farming Transformation Fund (FTF) team at RPA if you’re not sure if you are eligible to apply.


Telephone: 0300 0200 301, and follow options for the Farming Transformation Fund scheme.

Farming Transformation Fund
Grants Service
Rural Payments Agency
Sterling House
Dix's Field