Farmers considering investment in their farm businesses are being urged to tap into discounted loan rates available from the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (AMC) but they must act quickly.
“As part of the Lloyds Banking Group, the AMC has access to a £250 million fund provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB) aimed at stimulating investment and job creation in small and medium sized businesses, including farming,” explains Jonathan Allright, head of the AMC.
“Our access to this fund allows us to effectively subsidise loans for a wide range of farm and diversification projects including whole farm purchase, building works and livestock housing, machinery and equipment purchases, farm shops, milking parlours and farm energy schemes. The total fund pot is limited and we have already seen a high level of interest, so if you have a project in mind then I would urge you to contact your AMC Regional Agricultural Manager or agent as soon as possible.
“This scheme provides an important opportunity for farmers who are considering expanding or investing in improving efficiency at a time when interest rates are already historically low. I see it as an important tool to help reduce the effects of price and cost volatility.”
Those borrowers eligible for the EIB scheme will receive a significant discount of 0.8% off the normal loan margin. The minimum amount borrowers can apply for in the scheme is £25,500 with the maximum set at €12.5 million, around £11 million. The discount is available on loans of up to 10 years for projects that have a definite start and end date.
“A lot of projects fall within the scope of the scheme so it is worth considering how it could help strengthen your farm business for the long term,” says Mr Allright. “With the demands to produce food for a growing population increasing, this funding offers a real financial boost at an important time for many farm businesses.”