A farming charity has welcomed a pledge by Barclays bank to provide financial support to struggling livestock farmers

The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution said the package of measures included a capital repayment holiday of up to 12 months on loans to help with cashflow, and the extension of, or increase in, overdraft arrangements.

The help is available to livestock farmers who have lost breeding sheep, lambs, cattle and calves, through Schmallenberg virus or the extreme weather.

Barclays’ national agriculture specialist Oliver McEntyre said: “We recognise it’s vital that during this very difficult period that we offer financial support to livestock farmers suffering cash shortages, as a direct result of the adverse weather and Schmallenberg disease.

“Barclays’ agricultural managers will work closely with individual livestock farmers affected by these adverse conditions to understand their individual needs and ensure we are helping customers get appropriate support quickly. We also encourage any of our agricultural customers to contact Barclays to discuss their situation.”

RABI’s chief executive Paul Burrows said: “Cashflow is the life blood of any business. The past year’s weather has been extremely challenging and unprecedented and, on top of animal diseases, has certainly had an impact on cashflow.

“Barclays’ practical initiative should give customers extra support, as well as peace of mind, so that they can concentrate on running their business. The added offer of a capital repayment holiday on loans will further support the business.”

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