Changes in how the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (AMC plc) considers loan proposals from landed estates could significantly improve the ability of businesses to access development and improvement funding.
Alistair Cochrane of Strutt & Parker’s Morpeth office - an agent for AMC - said the body, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lloyds Bank PLC, had an excellent track record of providing lending to large diversified estates.
Some funding applications, however, had proved challenging - especially where various enterprises have fallen into different policy categories, potentially attracting a myriad of different terms and conditions.
Cochrane said: “We’ve now been able to overhaul our offering to estate-type businesses, which often combine such varying enterprises as in-hand and let farming, let commercial and residential property, renewable energy, tourism, forestry and sporting activities.
“Where previously the loan application may have been split across agricultural, residential, commercial and so on, we will in future treat the whole business as one.
“This will make applications for finance simpler – and ultimately hopefully more successful.”
The Agricultural Mortgage Corporation provides medium and long-term secured loans to the UK farming industry, and has a 30% market share in the sector. It was initially set up by the Government in 1928 to help revitalise land ownership, allowing a new generation of farmers to help feed the nation, following the First World War.
Charlie Forbes Adam, who runs the family-owned Escrick Park Estate near York, welcomed the changes. A winner of the prestigious RASE Bledisloe Gold Medal for outstanding land management and agricultural estate development in 2013, the estate has worked with AMC for 20 years to successfully secure finance for a wide range of ventures. Mr Forbes Adam said: “This enhanced offering really recognises the unique nature of our business, which includes commercial and residential property, tourism, events, and farming and farm produce retail.
“Before now, we would have been applying under a number of different banners to fund the development of this range of enterprises.
“Now it’s going to be a much simpler process, ideally suited to the mix of enterprises we work with.”Strutt & Parker is one of the largest independent property partnerships in the UK, with a network of offices throughout England and Scotland.
For more information on the new policy, contact Mr Cochrane on 01670 500870 or visit www.amconline.co.uk