What’s the ‘Future Growth Loan Scheme’ and when will it be available?

As part of Budget 2019, the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure – Paschal Donohoe – announced details of the ‘Future Growth Loan Scheme’.

€300 million will be made available to borrow under the initiative – 40% of which has been earmarked for agri-food sector businesses.

Commenting on the measure, Heather Humphreys, the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, said: “The scheme we have announced today is a long-term loan scheme. Again it’s another fund of €300 million; 40% is targeted at the agri-food sector.”

Available for capital expenditure, she noted that the product is available over periods of eight to 10 years.

“The banks currently lend up to about seven years, so this is a real opportunity for companies who want to avail of low-rate loans for much longer terms. And, we expect that it will be a very competitive interest rate and it will be well below 5%.”

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, confirmed that last year’s provision of €25 million for a loan scheme will be included in this measure.

The scheme will provide long-term, unsecured investment finance for farmers and small-scale companies in the food and seafood sectors, he noted.

“[It’s] particularly of interest and benefit to young farmers who may not have a long-established banking record.”

Commenting further, he said: “We will have a product in the market place in early 2019.”