Unsecured loans of up to £100,000 are being offered through the recently established charity Dairy Futures, to widen access to capital to new and recent dairy entrants.

Dairy Futures set up the Dairy Futures Loan Company to make the loans available to new entrants and those who have been running their own dairy business for no more than 10 years.

Applicants must own no more than 20ha of land, be tenants, share or contract farmers, have a sound business plan and demonstrate good technical and business skills.

Loans may be made for cows, facilities or housing and offered at a competitive commercial rate similar to that of a secured mortgage.

Repayments will be monthly over a five- to 10-year period and include capital plus interest at a variable rate. Further legal and financial details are still being agreed, but interested applicants should check the Dairy Futures website for updates.

Funding will come from a limited pot of £500,000, so applications may be competitive. The deadline for the first round of applications is 7 January 2014.

Applicants will be interviewed and need to provide references. To find out more and download an application form visit www.dairyfutures.org.uk

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