Farmers thinking of investing in their businesses could access discounted borrowing rates from the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (AMC).
AMC has negotiated access to a multi-million pound European Investment Bank (EIB) fund aimed at stimulatinginvestment and job creation in small and medium-sized businesses, including those in farming.
This means that loans for eligible projects can be discounted by 0.8 per cent below normal rates for 10 years.
Local AMC agent Alistair Cochrane, of Strutt & Parker’s Morpeth office, said this is an exciting development and means that loans for a wide range of farm and diversification projects such as building works, livestock housing and crop storage, farm shops and farm energy schemes can be heavily discounted.
“At a time when interest rates are historically low this could represent a real opportunity to cost-effectively invest in the future of the farm.” he said.
“The previous scheme met with strong farmer demand in the area with many using it as an opportunity to develop projects that improve efficiency, productivity or help to manage costs.
“For example, farm energy schemes such as wind, solar or anaerobic digestion, which are increasingly being seen as a way of mitigating rising energy prices, are likely to be eligible for the discount.
“With demand for food underpinning optimism across many sectors but with farmers still facing stern challenges in managing costs, this scheme offers a real financial boost at an important time for many farm businesses.
“I would urge anyone who is about to fund a farm improvement programme to find out how the EIB scheme could help reduce costs.”