Farmers access €51.8 million of Future Growth Loan Scheme

Farmers have accessed loans worth a combined €51.8 million under the Future Growth Loan Scheme (FGLS) up to May 4, 2020, according to Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys.

There have been 422 farmer loans approved under the scheme, the minister added. Meanwhile, 1,046 farmers eligibility applications were made between April 2019 and May 4, 2020.

Of the €51.8 million, some €200,000 was applied for since March 23, 2020, when an expansion was announced.

Responding to a parliamentary question on the matter from Fianna Fáil’s Charlie McConalogue, the minister said:

“The FGLS makes up to €300 million of loans available with a term of eight to 10 years and is operated by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) though participating lenders.

We have seen strong demand for the scheme since its launch in April 2019 across all sectors and regions including in exporting businesses and family businesses.

“Up to May 4, there has been a total of 3,449 applications for eligibility under the scheme, of which 3,286 have been approved for eligibility under the scheme.

“To date, 1,043 loans have progressed to sanction to a total value of €222 million [with further loans in the pipeline for sanctioning at one of the lenders].”

Minister Humphreys noted that, while the initial €300 million funding for the FGLS “has been almost fully subscribed”, a further expansion of the scheme has been announced, adding:

My department is now working through the details of a significant expansion to bring this funding to market as soon as possible.

Commenting on the current scheme, the minister said: “While there is some remaining capacity in the scheme through one of the financial providers, this lender does not lend to farmers.

“However, those farmers and food businesses that have applied for, and received approval for an eligibility code for the FGLS since the onset of the Covid-19 crisis, will be in a position to proceed directly to the financial providers to seek loan approval when the new tranche of lending which I have announced becomes available under this scheme,” Minister Humphreys concluded.