New grant for landscaping companies to buy machines to boost productivity

The National Parks Board launched a new grant scheme on Friday, which is aimed at helping landscaping companies boost productivity through machine purchases.

Called the Landscape Productivity Grant, there is $3.9 million in the fund till March 2016 and it is the first of its kind grant here. It is part of the $12 million productivity push in the landscaping sector that began in 2011.

Under the new grant scheme, eligible companies will receive 50 per cent funding, up to a maximum of $100,000 To be eligible, landscaping companies must be listed in the NParks company register and assessments should show that the proposed equipment purchases would likely generate productivity savings by at least 20 per cent.

First to receive the grant is Prince's, which will use it in purchasing a hedge trimmer that is expected to reduce time taken to trim hedges by 75 per cent. The landscape industry has traditionally relied heavily on manual processes and on foreign manpower, and the grant will help improve work processes and make workers more productive, said Minister of State (National Development) Mr Desmond Lee.