A change in the way the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (AMC) considers loan proposals from landed estates is set to significantly improve the ability of these businesses to access development and improvement funding.Adrian Cawood from AMC says that while an excellent track record of providing lending to large diversified estates has been established by AMC over many years, some funding applications have proved challenging especially where various enterprises have fallen into different policy categories, potentially attracting a myriad of different terms and conditions. "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," he explains."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.
Charlie Forbes Adam, who runs the family-owned Escrick Park Estate near York, has welcomed the changes. 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 and during this time has successfully secured finance for a wide range of ventures.
Mr Forbes Adam says: “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."