Belfast Telegraph

Agri-food sector gets £1bn Ulster Bank fund boost

Businesses in the farming and food and drink sectors could benefit from a £1bn funding package from Ulster Bank.

News that the agri-food sector is to benefit significantly from £1bn available for businesses was revealed at the launch of the 2014 Balmoral Show.

This year will be Ulster Bank's sixth year as principal sponsor of the Balmoral Show.

Ian Jordan, director of corporate banking with Ulster Bank, said the agri-food sector is a key priority.

"Ulster Bank is already a major lender to the agricultural sector, to food processors, to the wider agri business, as well as food and drink industries," he said.

"But we see opportunities to further grow our involvement in and support for these sectors.

"We have a new agriculture offering which includes a start-up package for young farmers – providing loans, training, and specialist expertise – as well as sector-specific offerings for beef, dairy and poultry farmers.

"We also recently took the message about our £1bn available to lend to businesses this year on the road with a series of 'Ahead for Business' events. Agri-food and drink was a key target and many of the business people who attended were from these sectors," he continued.

"The last six years have been transformative for the Balmoral show, with the move in 2013 to Balmoral Park clearly a major step forward," said Mr Jordan.

"Last year, the show attracted more farmers, business people, exhibitors and members of the public than ever before. It was a highly impressive occasion and something to really build on this year and for future years. Once again, Ulster Bank very much looks forward to being at the heart of this year's show," he added.

Belfast Telegraph