UK Farming
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UK Farming
News and views from the British Countryside
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Affected by Flooding and Need Finance?

The extreme weather in the UK has led to a number of problems for much of the country. Individual homes and businesses have been damaged by flooding in particular, and areas such as Somerset have hit the national headlines due to the severity of the flooding and the subsequent issues they have faced to get back on their feet again. With so many businesses now desperate to rebuild their operation and recover from flood damage, access to finance is more essential than ever. Many of these businesses do, fortunately, have adequate insurance in place, but payments can be slow to arrive and some owners are getting frustrated, particularly with smaller or more uncertain claims, and are seeking to make repairs immediately and then deal with the insurance claim afterwards.
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Hotels – A Perfect Refurbishment Project for the Ambitious

If you are an individual looking for a new business opportunity, or a small business working in the building or renovations trade and looking for a new project, then a hotel refurbishment can be an excellent project and means of securing a good return on investment. Equally, if you are a current hotel or B&B owner, upgrading your premises can be a superb way of increasing revenue, turnover and overall profit, allowing you to charge a premium for your new and improved accommodation. There is an active resale market for hotels, B&Bs and other guest accommodation and many of these, particularly the smaller and independent units, are primed for renovation. Inspiration can be found in the new wave of bespoke, quirky and boutique guest accommodations that charge a healthy premium for beautifully designed rooms and luxurious surroundings.
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Accessing the Cattle Farm Finance That You Need

The dairy industry has long been a mainstay of UK agriculture, and it plays a vital role in the national economy, both in terms of exports and in terms of domestic food provision and security of supply. The industry has been under pressure in recent years thanks to falling prices, supermarket power and rising input costs (including regulatory measures and increased overseas competition). However, things are beginning to look up for UK dairy farmers. Increased competitiveness often leads to market innovation, and there have certainly been signs of innovative new delivery models within the industry, including co-operatives and sales groups and working with unions and other industry representatives such as the National Farmers Union , for example, to lobby on behalf of the industry.
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The Best Farming Shows for 2014

Farm and agricultural shows offer a wide range of benefits for those employed in the industry. For example, they allow growers to learn about the latest technologies and products available on the market. For farmers and suppliers, they allow businesses to network and build profitable new alliances and supply chains. For businesses in general, they offer a chance to sell and promote a service or product within agriculture or its associated businesses, and they also offer all of those working within the industry a chance to network, make new contacts and discuss business with like-minded people. These shows can also be a great choice to support business planning and idea generation. Not only are they inspirational and have thought-provoking exhibitions, but there are also very often business and farm finance advisors on hand to provide expert advice.
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The Move Toward Wildlife-Friendly Farming

An increasing interest in biodiversity and customer demand for sustainable, organic and local food production mean that farmers are moving over to wildlife-friendly farming practices in ever greater numbers. This essentially involves looking at farming in a more holistic way, reducing the use of damaging pesticides, preserving wild areas and generally working in a sustainable manner that supports and preserves the countryside, rather than slowly eroding it. Advice and Guidance for Farmers The RSPB publishes an excellent guide on wildlife-friendly farming periodically which provides a wealth of guidance for farmers and land managers. There is more information on their website, including reports and evidence of the positive results of such programmes
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The Costs of Flooding in the Farming Industry

Last year’s torrential winter rains wreaked havoc in the farming industry, with insurers estimating that the cost of flood damage would run into millions of pounds. Some insurers were reportedly dealing with over one thousand claims from farmers whose businesses and homes in Wales, the South West and the Midlands had been affected, with further claims following in the North West and Scotland as the bad weather persisted into spring. Luckily, some insurers were lined up to offer immediate initial damage payouts to claimants quickly and efficiently, focusing on the worst-hit businesses. This provided small and rapid payments to those who needed it most. However, it wasn’t just farms that were impacted by the floods, as a range of associated rural businesses were also damaged, including shops, hotels, workshops and offices.
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Agricultural Finance for Farmers

The farming industry in the UK has experienced a series of challenges in recent years, from changing government legislation to bad weather, cattle disease, supermarket power and the threat of cheap overseas competition and shifting patterns in consumer demand. However, thanks in part to lobbying from the farm industry itself, its supporters and lobbying groups such as the NFU, the government is showing a commitment to investing in the industry again, particularly in wake of concerns around food security and the necessity for the UK to be able to provide for itself rather than rely on overseas imports.
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Leasing Options for Commercial Vans

Whether you are looking for a new or a second-hand van, a leasing option can be a great way to get the business assets that you need to drive, deliver and transport without needing to own and maintain an expensive fleet and then worry about disposing of assets at the end of their useful working life. Leasing is a very popular method of using assets at an affordable price. You can acquire them quickly and easily for an agreed period of time. How Leasing Works Vehicle leasing allows the business to benefit from a fixed payment every month to use a commercial vehicle for a lease term of between 12 to 48 months typically.
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Finance for Second-Hand Commercial Vehicles

Shop fitting covers a broad range of service and retail stores, ranging from high fashion to retailers of fixtures, fittings and equipment. The function can apply from small pop-up units and corner stores to large hypermarkets, and the shop fit itself will require a range of planning, design and installation services, usually with the support of a professional fit-out provider. The right shop fit-out can make all the difference to any business which relies on consumer sales. The ability to engage with the customer directly and market the product or service directly in an attractive, compelling and interactive environment is crucial to sales success. The right shop fit will allow point of sale promotions, changing displays, a place for sales people to answer questions and discuss customer needs, and a chance for the customer to see the product or experience a taster of the service first-hand and make a buying decision. However, because the shop fit is a big investment in terms of ti
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The Right Finance for Your Agricultural Building Investments

For farmers, high-quality agricultural buildings are essential. Storage barns need to be weather-proof and safe for storing grain, potatoes and other food products without damage. Grain stores need to be particularly dry and rain-tight. Animal barns Animal barns must be safe and protected from the elements, and mechanical stores must be safe from burglary or forced entry. Essentially, regardless of the purpose, any type of agricultural building must be robust, safe and fit for purpose. However, farm buildings are expensive and many were built at the same time, meaning that they fall into disrepair in close succession and can place a huge financial burden on the farm.
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The Loan Products You Need for Your Construction Project

The construction sector is one of the UK’s largest drivers of the economy, and a general litmus test of improving economic fortunes is to assess the order book and pipeline of those involved in the construction trade. Whether it’s private housing developments, government infrastructure or private home improvements, a high level of construction demand signals that the economy is improving and shows good prospects for growth. Accessing Finance to Grow Many small construction firms have struggled during the recession as building projects were put on hold so that clients could hold on to their cash and wait until greater economic certainty followed
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Engineering Finance to Secure Growth

Britain is famed for being one of the leading lights in the engineering industry, thanks to its skills and knowledge base, investment profile, technology development and positioning within the global market. For every large engineering firm there are many small and medium-sized engineering firms, often specialising in niche or specialist engineering delivery which involve component manufacturing, design, commissioning, production, research or an aligned field. For these businesses, investment is key particularly when it comes to the latest technologies to retain competitive advantage and take the business forward. This means that engineering businesses must be able to access the right engineering business finance for their needs. The Case for Specialist Providers Large high-street banks have come under fire in recent years for effectively shutting up shop to new business customers. Even more worryingly, there have been recent reports of big banks engaging in practices to t
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Choosing the Right Finance Product for Yellow Plant

Yellow plant is a common term heard in construction and farming industries. It refers to large construction equipment items such as diggers, excavators, tractors and cranes. A wide range of business sectors require such equipment as a vital part of their operation. However, they are costly items. Some businesses will avoid tying up their working capital by not going for direct purchase and opting instead for a leasing arrangement for construction equipment. This removes the ownership right but does reduce the cost, and gives the business owner the option to provide a final balloon payment to own the asset outright if desired. Some businesses will simply prefer to enter into a new lease deal for the latest model, removing maintenance and repair costs from their budget and depreciation costs for accounting purposes
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Farm Watch and Rural Crime Prevention Initiatives

For farmers and rural dwellers, crime can be a serious problem. Typically associated with urban areas, crime has actually been a significant problem in some rural communities, especially given the attractive value of certain farm assets and the ease of access for thieves in quieter areas where neighbours may not be immediately suspicious or vigilant. As a result, a number of initiatives are now in place and local communities are working together closely with organisations such as the police to set up monitoring schemes and local support networks to minimise incidences of crime.
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Upgrade and Refurbish Your Own Pub

Many people dream of one day owning and running their own pub. The Great British pub has a vital role in every local community. There has been a resurgence of interest in local pub and traditional culture, with independent and brewery-tied pubs alike finding ways to diversify and grow their business through food provision, local ales, entertainments and also upgraded and improved facilities. If you are looking to buy a pub, or you already own and manage one, an upgrade to the premises can be a worthwhile investment, whether you are looking to entirely re-fit the interior or simply invest in a few new purchases to offer your customers a better experience and products more closely matched to their needs. Customers are increasingly prepared to pay a premium for good-quality products and an attractive, comfortable interior which encourages them to visit, linger and return.
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Upturn in Construction Increases Demand for Plant

Promising signs of renewed activity within the construction sector are fuelling optimism around the UK’s economic recovery. The construction sector is typically seen as a useful benchmark of the country’s economic health, as building projects, both on a public scale as well as privately led, tend to pause when finances become tight and economic uncertainty creeps in. Even at a micro and consumer level, individuals tend to spend less on construction projects at home, which allows the industry overall to provide a useful barometer of the nation’s financial confidence. Recent upturns in activity are now leading to knock-on effect in demand, including a rise in the need for plant. Operational and construction plant is essential for all types of construction build, and many companies have limited their investment during the credit crunch, meaning that demand is high once again now that projects are starting or resuming.
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Raising Finance for a Shop Fit

It can be difficult to get the finance that you need to grow your business in the current economic climate. A number of high street banks are reluctant to lend, either saying no to new customers or imposing overly onerous conditions on a more limited range of lending products. This is highly frustrating for those businesses that want to expand their operation, open new retail outlets, reach new markets and generally reach their business goals for the year ahead. A shop fit-out can be an expensive project, even with healthy cash reserves to use. Not only is the kit-out itself required, with all associated fixtures, fittings, merchandise, branding and promotions, but specialist contractors are also needed to project-manage the fit-out and carry out expert functions such as electricity and lighting installations, shop flow and fixture changes, window display builds and so forth
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Options for Obtaining Commercial Vehicle Finance

If you need to buy a new commercial car or vehicle, then finance will be at the top of your list of considerations. There are various options available which are all worth considering within the context of your business plan, cash flow and overall objectives. Leasing Arrangements Leasing schemes work well for businesses which are looking to use fleets of company cars, vans or other business vehicles without actually owning them. The lease is essentially like a rental agreement for a property it gives you full usage of the asset for an agreed monthly fee. At the end of the term, the asset is returned to the owner. Businesses often lease when they are likely to want to upgrade the vehicle at the end of the period. However, some businesses, particularly those which need specialist vehicles for lifting, digging, moving or other purposes, may prefer to directly buy a high-quality vehicle and own it outright. Some tractors, for example, can remain in good working condition for several
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Agricultural Finance for Farmers

The farming industry in the UK has experienced a series of challenges in recent years, from changing government legislation to bad weather, cattle disease, supermarket power and the threat of cheap overseas competition and shifting patterns in consumer demand. However, thanks in part to lobbying from the farm industry itself, its supporters and lobbying groups such as the NFU, the government is showing a commitment to investing in the industry again, particularly in wake of concerns around food security and the necessity for the UK to be able to provide for itself rather than rely on overseas imports.
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Access to Finance for Smaller Businesses

For smaller businesses, access to finance is essential for growth and survival. Without it, delayed invoice payments or cash-flow problems can lead to a missed wage bill and sudden escalating problems. Small businesses not only need access to finance to manage their operation, such as healthy credit lines and specialist solutions such as invoice factoring, but also access to finance for investment purposes. This is particularly important in the new calendar year, as businesses plan their year ahead and consider investment in the light of the growing economy and opportunities to expand and diversify.
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Finance to Fund a Shop Fit

Shop fitting covers a broad range of service and retail stores, ranging from high fashion to retailers of fixtures, fittings and equipment. The function can apply from small pop-up units and corner stores to large hypermarkets, and the shop fit itself will require a range of planning, design and installation services, usually with the support of a professional fit-out provider. The right shop fit-out can make all the difference to any business which relies on consumer sales. The ability to engage with the customer directly and market the product or service directly in an attractive, compelling and interactive environment is crucial to sales success. The right shop fit will allow point of sale promotions, changing displays, a place for sales people to answer questions and discuss customer needs, and a chance for the customer to see the product or experience a taster of the service first-hand and make a buying decision.
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Making the Best Use of Your Existing Assets

You know that you need to find the best finance deals to buy new assets to grow your business, but have you considered refinancing your existing assets in order to raise vital business finance? Specialist loan providers such as NCFPLC offer a range of innovative and flexible lending solutions for businesses looking to survive and thrive. With the recession now giving way to positive signs of growth, savvy businesses are looking at ways to raise cost-effective machinery finance in order to achieve their objectives and strategy for the coming year. Free Up Finance Those who have already invested heavily in plant and machinery can often free up valuable finance simply by refinancing to a better deal, rather than paying over the odds for a product bought when interest rates were far higher.
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Were Banks Responsible for Downfall of Small Businesses?

A shocking new report has revealed that leading high-street banks Lloyds and RBS were responsible for the ‘financial downfall’ that plagued many thousands of SMEs in the UK, thanks to business practices that were branded ‘unscrupulous’. Royal Bank of Scotland were described in the report as acting like a ‘hit squat’ towards small but profitable businesses, often effectively ‘killing them off’ by withdrawing credit lines. In the worst cases, excessive fees were applied to struggling businesses, with the result that banks could acquire their assets, typically property, at cheap prices.
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Accessing Finance for Agricultural Seed

Developments in bio-crops, scientific advances and molecular engineering mean that new strains of disease- and drought-resistant seeds are being researched and developed to ensure better and more consistent crops. With concerns about over-farming and soil quality, extreme weather conditions and decreased support for the farming industry, robust agricultural seed strains become more important than ever before. This is particularly true in regions such as Africa, where drought and disease can wipe out crops, along with farmers’ livelihoods and local affordable food supplies.
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The Finance You Need to Grow Your Poultry Farm

The UK’s poultry industry has received a strong boost from consumers’ desire to ‘buy British’ ? so much so, in fact, that demand has soared for places to produce ethically reared chickens. Government ministers are being urged to hasten the planning processes that all new poultry farm applications are obliged to go through, or tell customers that they will need to buy imported birds. The British Poultry Council has said that poultry meat is likely to account for over 50pc of the nation’s total meat consumption in 2014, an increase of more than 33pc from two decades ago. Britons eat 2.2 million chickens every day, of which 70pc are reared in the UK.
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