10 August, 2012, Farmers considering making an investment in their businesses are being urged to tap into discounted loan rates from the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (AMC), but must act quickly to ensure they secure a loan before the current rates expire.
AMC has negotiated access to a multi million pound fund provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB) aimed at stimulating investment and job creation in small and medium sized businesses, including farming.
Jonathan Allright, head of AMC, said: “Our access to this fund allows us to effectively subsidise loans for a wide range of farm improvement and diversification projects including 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 good level of interest. Farmers with a particular project in mind are urged to contact their local AMC agent.
Kit Harding, rural partner at property consultants Carter Jonas and an AMC agent, said: “This scheme provides an opportunity for farmers, who are considering expanding or investing in improving farm efficiency, to access favourable loan rates at a time when interest rates are already historically low. I see it as an important tool to help reduce the effects of price fluctuations and input cost volatility.”
Those borrowers eligible for the EIB scheme will receive a significant discount of 0.65 per cent off the normal loan margin. The minimum amount borrowers can apply for in the scheme is £25,500. The discount is available on loans of up to 10 years for projects that have a definite start and end date and must complete their loan by December 2013.
“A wide range 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,” said Mr Harding.
“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,” he said.