Category: Farming Training

Why Is The Machine Finance Market Growing?

Machines are critical to growth in the manufacturing sector but they are often expensive and can eat into business profits without some form of financial help.

Traditionally business owners turn to the bank to provide straightforward business loans to help if there is insufficient cash in the business to purchase machines. Even if there is enough cash to buy a machine, a loan can be a more sensible way to buy equipment particularly if there is risk attached in making large investments as there often is in business. However, business loans from banks also come at a cost and interest rates can be high.

Having multiple loans can also leave a business vulnerable in a downturn and restrict any cash flow available to grow the business. Machine finance is growing in popularity because it unlocks funding when you need it.

So if your business requires a new machine that will cut down the amount of manual labour required to get jobs done such as a CNC machine, machine finance can help you acquire that machinery at a minimum upfront cost.

This means you get the benefit of improved efficiency and profitability while spreading the cost. It can also be tax efficient now that the government has increased the annual investment allowance. So it comes as no surprise that the machine finance sector has grown 9% year on year.

Farmers – Are You Exploiting This Tax Allowance?

It may not be all good news for farmers this year but there is one particular piece of news that every farmer should be aware of and that relates to an opportunity to take advantage of machine purchases with the help of the government.

Farm machinery is often a major purchase with tractors alone costing in excess of £100,000 so if these savings can be offset it has to be good news. Fortunately, the government stepped in to help farmers with a change to the Annual Investment Allowance that will go a long way towards helping farm businesses make some big investments in farm machinery.

The fact that the move isn’t permanent should alert farmers to take advantage before 2021. The AIA threshold was £200,000 in 2018 and this has temporarily risen to £1million for the next 2 years.

With a lot of uncertainty at present and for the future of some farms in the UK this allowance could make a difference. Specialist finance could help ease costs further for farm businesses and enable more investment to improve efficiency and explore new opportunities for farm business development in the future.

If you would like to find out more about farm finance contact one of our advisors today who will be able to help.

Last chance for £250k towards farming training

The AgriFood ATP is able to help fund your studies if you meet their eligibility criteria.

If you are a UK resident and are employed by a company that has an R&D or manufacturing presence in the UK agrifood sector*, you are likely to be eligible for a bursary to cover 100% of your course fee.

100% bursaries are available until the end of 2014 when the subsidy rate will fall to 75% until the end of 2015.

* The ‘agrifood sector’ is defined as ‘an enterprise engaged in and/or providing services to businesses in agriculture, the manufacture of farm machinery and equipment, the processing of food and drink and the wholesale and retail activities associated with food and drink.’

To be eligible for a bursary, you must work for more than 7 hours per week in an organisation that has a site in the United Kingdom and that meets the above criteria.

Time is running out for farmers, advisers and other allied professionals to make use of a £250,000 funding pot for training schemes.

The funding is via the AgriFood Advanced Training Partnership. But it is the last year that this type of 100% bursary is available, according to partnership manager Deborah Kendale.

“We have at least £250,000 to allocate, which would allow 200 to 300 people to benefit, depending on the length of course taken,” Ms Kendale said.

A one-week course costs £1,400, while day courses cost £350. Anyone in paid work for more than seven hours a week in an agrifood-related business can apply.

Since January 2012, the partnership has awarded nearly £600,000 in part-time training. It has provided more than 400 people from across the UK with a range of training, from one-day soil and water workshops to in-depth crop protection courses.

But in 2015, funding will drop to 75% for UK-based agrifood professionals looking for a short course or a part-time postgraduate qualification.

Interest on many courses has been high, particularly on our Potato Production and Management course based at Harper Adams, Ms Kendale said.

The partners delivering the courses are the University of Nottingham, Cranfield University, Harper Adams University and Rothamsted Research and training is at an advanced level. However it is not necessary to have studied a degree to attend a short course or one or more workshops.

Course bursaries are provided by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and have enabled delegates from all backgrounds and industries from family run farms right up to multinational companies such as Agrii and Frontier to take part.

[AgriFood & Farmers Weekly]