Farms feeding sheep in field

H&H Group to Provide Low Cost Loan Facility to Innovative Young Farmers

Posted on: 2nd January 2020

Creation of a £50,000 fund has been announced for young people aged between 18 to 30 years with an innovative rural business idea.  The scheme is  entitled “Farming Ambition – Business Support for Young People and exists to support the next generation of young farmers to enable them to get their idea off the ground.

The H&H loan fund is made available to young people by working in partnership with the Farmer Network, who are based at Newton Rigg College, Penrith and Enterprise Answers, who offer business funding support across the North of England. H&H Group, as one of the leading rural businesses in the area, has committed to the fund to help support the next generation of farming-related business entrepreneurs.  Individuals with an idea to launch a new product, service or enterprise will have the opportunity to apply for a share of the fund, which will be loaned at an extremely competitive interest rate.

Giving further background as to why H&H Group were so keen to support such a scheme Richard Rankin, Chief Executive commented:  “This fund is us engaging with the next generation – we need to remain relevant in the market and get closer to what people really want.  What we are looking to do, is to connect with the next generation and entrepreneurship and to encourage young farmers to remain in farming to look at the wider picture, identify opportunities and diversify if necessary.  In doing so, they may be adding value to their own small farming enterprise and through our support are ensuring that they remain in farming communities, as ambassadors for and custodians of the countryside.

“To apply for the fund, the applicant has to demonstrate certain criteria, but we have made it as simple as possible.  With a financial background, I fully understand the loan process and know how important it is not just to lend people money for the sake of it and without any professional support.  This scheme gives potential business people the opportunity to do something different to further their careers and to develop confidence, business and life skills, which will form the foundations of their future livelihoods.

“So, if you have an idea, don’t be afraid to go for it because there are many opportunities and the “Farming Ambition – Business Support for Young People” is one of them.”

This loan -funding works as part of a wider programme, whereby a young person attends an informal introduction to business course and following that is allocated a suitable Business Advisor.  The Business Advisor assists the individual to verify if their idea is viable or not. If it is, the advisor continues to support the individual through a process to secure appropriate funding for their business idea:

  • Stage 1 – Devise a business plan and cashflow template. The Business Advisor will happily work around the individual’s work commitments so this process could take up to six months to finalise.
  • Stage 2 – The Plan is then submitted to what is known as The Business Launch Group (BLG,) which includes representatives from the partnership, to assess whether the project is financially viable. If it is, the applicant is invited to present the idea to the BLG A training or business grant to help with a specific aspect of the plan may also be applied for.
  • Stage 3 – The Business Advisor then supports the applicant to present their idea to the BLG assessment group.
  • The BLG will meet the applicant, review their business plan and ultimately decide if the project is viable and the funds should be loaned or a training grant allocated (or if other more appropriate options should be recommended).
  • Stage 4 – Once the idea is sanctioned, the loan is expected to take around one month to come through.

The terms and conditions for applying for the loan are simple – the applicant should be from a rural/agricultural background and the project or enterprise they are planning should be farming-related and benefit or service the rural community.

Kate Gascoyne of the Farmer Network Ltd, a not-for-profit organisation providing help and support to farmers and their businesses and working collaboratively on the scheme, added:  “It’s always extremely rewarding to see a young person with an initial idea seeking this support and seeing their plan come to fruition.  I have seen many success stories over the years, and even seen past beneficiaries become advisors and mentors for fledglings to the project.”

“We are excited to be working with H&H and Enterprise Answers to add a loan facility to the offer for young people. We are also grateful to the Cumbria Community Foundation, the Francis C Scott Trust, the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the Prince’s Countryside Fund for supporting the cost of the course, business advice and training grant elements of the programme”.

For more information, including case studies of previous applicants, please visit the Farmer Network website or email Kate in complete confidence.

What our customers think

Would recommend

10 January 2021

Excellent
Excellent service fast and hassle free kept up to date

Christopher - 08 January 2021

H&H Insurance.
they found me a good insurance at the right price .

Eric - 07 January 2021

They were supportive, persistent, patient and affable - and we concuded the business successfully. I would recommend them to anyone.

Richard - 07 January 2021

Excellent and speedy service
Anyone we spoke to was well informed and very helpful

07 January 2021

The whole experience easy from start to finish. Everything was explained to me before making my decision. Very helpful staff. Definitely recommend to others!

07 January 2021

Easy to deal with and efficient
Yes definitely

07 January 2021

Good prompt reply
Good prompt responses to questions and enquiries and they try hard not to be beaten on price.

07 January 2021

good service

Andrew - 06 December 2020

They rang us up as the reminder email was sent to an old address and we were in danger of being of missing the start date for the new policy and would not have been insured.

Patricia - 03 December 2020

Great service
Great service, thanks Lee!

Helen - 03 December 2020

Efficient service In difficult times.

03 December 2020

Excellent staff
Excellent everything was explained and understood. Staff very helpful.

Michael - 08 November 2020

Good service
Great service and would recommend.

07 November 2020

H&H do the job!
We are not so good at responding to first emails - even though all information is always provided in a clear way, with timelines. We appreciate H&H for following up with us. Because of their work, we have not missed an important deadline yet. We have used H&H for years - because they are good at what they do. We need yo thank them!!

06 October 2020

If H and H continue provide competitive Farm Insurance, giving the required cover but at a lot lower price than other providers, I can certainly recommend them. I found out about H and H because another farmer recommended them to me.

Rory - 18 October 2020

I've renewed my house and contents insurance again with H&H Insurance Brokers; Cameron Johnston provided an excellent service and the policy is very competitively priced.

Nina - 07 October 2020

Great as always
Straight forward great prices why would you go anywhere else

07 October 2020

Negotiated the cost well. Pleasant staff.

06 October 2020

All ways helpful and prepared for all situations.
Always ready to discuss different situations and prepared to help at any time. Staff always friendly and helpful.

Brenda - 06 October 2020

INDEPENDENT REVIEWS FROM FEEFO