Lloyds Banking Group is urging agricultural businesses to consider applying for a share of £2 billion of funding under its Clean Growth Financing Initiative (CGFI) for Agriculture.
The money is part of the bank’s £3 billion commitment to increased lending for sustainable business growth and includes investments designed to reduce carbon and greenhouse gas emissions for business processes, properties and infrastructure; increase energy efficiency and make environmental sustainability improvements; invest in low carbon vehicles and transport; improve water efficiency; and reduce waste and improve recycling rates.
Andrew Naylor, managing director of Lloyds Bank Agriculture, said: “As stewards of the countryside, agricultural businesses are already invested in the environment, which is why CGFI Agriculture will align with many business growth plans.”
The scheme’s eligibility criteria are specific to agriculture. New conditions mean projects that would qualify for agri-environment schemes, such as the Countryside Stewardship Fund and Glastir, will meet Lloyds’ requirements. Any application approved under CGFI Agriculture will be given a 0% arrangement fee on term loans, or carry a discount on the interest rate for asset finance.
Andrew Naylor continued, “A wider scheme is open to all businesses, but eligibility criteria specific to agriculture have been created, making the approval conditions more relevant for farmers and rural businesses. When considering any investment, a business needs to think about how it supports growth ambitions, mitigates risk or reduces cost.
“By taking meaningful steps to protect its natural capital, a business can satisfy those objectives. It will also become more resilient, more efficient and help safeguard its future.”