2013-02-27 xml
Update and Advice on European Investment Bank Funding for Farmers

Andrew Entwistle from George F White’s Co Durham office advises farmers on EIB funding.

Despite the short term challenges such as poor weather, the need for continued investment in farm infrastructure will be key to realising the long term opportunities the growing demand for food will offer farmers in our area.

Sheep Handling System

photo © Jennifer MacKenzie

Recent years of variable weather have highlighted the importance of having good grain storage capacity (often linked with grain drying systems) so as to mitigate against some weather related impacts.

Being able to sell grain out of store when prices are good rather than being forced to sell “off the combine” at the prevailing price because of lack of storage is a key determinant of financial success.

Many producers, whether livestock or arable, are realising the positive impact that modern buildings can have on enterprise profitability.

Beef and sheep producers also realise the “management time” benefits a well designed housing system can have. A good shed that incorporates proper handling systems can be a real time saver. In an increasingly competitive sector and where supply contracts are a feature then attention to detail are key elements.

Farmers are realising that the current historic low borrowing rates and discounted lending schemes, combined with the temporary increase in capital allowances, can offer a real opportunity for value for money investment in a range of projects.

The Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (AMC) for example has secured access to European Investment Bank (EIB)* funds meaning it can currently offer a 0.65% discount off its normal pricing for eligible farm and rural business investment projects.

The EIB discounted loans available from AMC could be especially useful for those farmers looking to improve their buildings. Many were built in the early 80’s using FHDS funding but have become dilapidated and do not meet the needs of today’s modern farming systems and enterprises.”

Whether trying to deliver against a supply contract, meeting regulatory or cross compliance requirements such as NVZ rules or just needing to replace a worse-for-wear shed, now could be a great time to improve your farms prospects.

Andrew Entwistle is a partner at George F White. He can be contacted on 01388 527966 or 07977 518156.

* The aim of the EIB is to make funds available to small and medium size businesses, including farming, to encourage investment to improve productivity and competitiveness.

George F White

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