By Olivia Cooper

BARCLAYS has announced a 12-month support package for farmers who continue to be adversely affected by foot-and-mouth.

The package includes loan repayment deferral for up to 12 months, extended overdraft facilities and expert advice for businesses where needed.

This replaces the banks original loan-break, where farmers received a three month break on loan repayment, which ended on 15 September.

Grant Philips, managing director of Barclays agricultural division, says: “For many seasonal businesses the winter will be very tough.

“With these measures we hope to ease the immediate financial pressure customers are under and help them prepare for what we hope will be more normal trading conditions next year.”

In addition, Barclays has pledged an extra 500,000 to the original 1 million fund for community projects which aid the economic regeneration of affected rural areas.

Another 50,000 is to go to local events offering advice and support to both customers and non-customers around the country.