£140m boost for Midlands agriculture businesses

The aim of the new fund is to distribute £140 million over the next five years
The aim of the new fund is to distribute £140 million over the next five years

Farming businesses located in the Midlands could benefit from a new £140 million fund to help the sector bounce back from the Covid pandemic.

Warwickshire County Council has agreed the significant new fund to stimulate its economy, create jobs, support local businesses and attract investment.

The county has over 400 businesses specialising in agriculture and agri-tech and, together with neighbouring Coventry, there are over 4,500 people employed in the sector.

The Warwickshire Recovery and Investment Fund (WRIF) specifically addresses a gap that has been identified in the market for access to finance.

The aim is to distribute £140m over the next five years, offering loans and other financial investments to existing and new businesses to help their long-term growth.

The first programme to open is the £90m Business Investment Growth (BIG) fund aimed at medium to large companies with a good track record.

The funding will be targeted at businesses looking to expand as well as companies wanting to make Warwickshire the place where they do business.

Cllr Kam Kaur, Warwickshire County Council’s portfolio holder for economy said: “We are seeking applications from agriculture and agri-tech companies that will have a positive impact.

“We are seeking applications that will have a positive impact not only on the economy but also on our society and environment, making Warwickshire the best it can be."

While this fund is focusing on a smaller number of higher value loans, the Local Communities and Enterprise Fund (LCEF) will be aimed at smaller and micro enterprises and will launch in the autumn.

Agriculture businesses who meet the aims of the fund and want to find out more are encouraged to complete the Expression of Interest form on Warwickshire County Council’s website.