NParks launches grant scheme to help fund buying of machinery

The National Parks Board has launched a new grant scheme to help fund machinery purchases by landscaping companies here.

Called the Landscape Productivity Grant, it has a total of $3.9 million for use from Sept 20 to March 2016, and is part is part of a larger $12 million productivity push in the landscaping sector that began in 2011.

Under this new grant scheme, each company will receive 50 per cent funding or up to a maximum of $100,000 between now and March 2016.

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 of 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, who graced Friday's launch.