Ulster Bank has encouraged farmers to apply for “a small amount of money” which has been left over under the low-cost loan scheme.

The bank originally announced in March that the funds it had been allocated under the scheme – which is also known as the Agriculture Cashflow Support Loan Scheme – had been fully depleted.

However, due to a variety of reasons a small amount of money has become available to Ulster Bank under the scheme.

This limited fund is believed to have arisen due to some applicants deciding not to fully draw down the loan amount which they had been approved for.

Funds would also have become available due to applicants having applied to multiple banks and then having decided to forge ahead with another loan distributor.

Ulster Bank is keen for farmers to apply as soon as possible to get the paperwork in order prior to the scheme closing on September 15.

This is an opportunity for farmers, who were in the midst of applying when the funds were originally deemed to be fully utilised, a second chance to secure funding under the scheme, a spokesperson for Ulster Bank told AgriLand.

Farmers interested in applying are asked to contact Ulster Bank personnel at: 087-6844265 or: 087-9555626.

The scheme was developed by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in co-operation with the SBCI (Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland), making €150 million available to farmers at interest rates of 2.95%.

Distributed and administered through AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank, the scheme aimed to provide farmers with a low-cost, flexible source of working capital.

It was hoped this would allow them to pay down more expensive forms of short-term debt, ensuring the ongoing financial sustainability of viable farming enterprises.

Normal bank lending criteria applies to the scheme and the terms and conditions of each individual loan are agreed between the bank and the applicant, according to the purpose of the loans and the circumstances of the farming enterprises.