Outgoing RPA boss Mark Grimshaw says department remains focused on paying outstanding claims

Paul Caldwell, incoming interim chief executive at the Rural Payments Agency.

Paul Caldwell, incoming interim chief executive at the Rural Payments Agency. - Credit: Archant

The departing boss of the Rural Payments Agency (RPA), the organisation which manages farm subsidy payments, said his six years at the helm had been “a great privilege”.

Mark Grimshaw, chief executive of the Rural Payments Agency.

Mark Grimshaw, chief executive of the Rural Payments Agency. - Credit: Archant

Mark Grimshaw will be replaced by incoming interim chief executive Paul Caldwell, who is currently the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) operational delivery director.

Environment secretary Andrea Leadsom praised Mr Grimshaw’s “clear commitment” to resolving outstanding BPS issues.

“Both he and Paul Caldwell have worked hard to achieve a strong recovery from the challenges of the first year of this new system,” she said.

“The agency remains fully focused on paying all remaining eligible claims as quickly as possible including those outstanding from 2015.”


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The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) permanent secretary Clare Moriarty Mr Grimshaw had achieved “a huge amount”.

“Under Mark’s leadership, the RPA has come through a significant transformation including the challenge of introducing the Rural Payments online service and the new Basic Payment Scheme,” she said.

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Mr Grimshaw said it had been “a great privilege” to have led the RPA and its “exceptional” people through some major changes.

“Together we created and delivered an ambitious five year plan, getting the agency in the great shape it is today. After six years at the helm I have decided now is the time to stand down and hand over the reins to a new leader to take the organisation through the next phase of its development as part of the DEFRA Group.

Mr Caldwell, who has been with the RPA since 2001, previously managed the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) and held various posts at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, now DEFRA.

“I am proud to have the opportunity to lead the Agency and recognise how important our work is to support our world-leading food and farming industry,” he said.

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