Farmers gain crop storage space with NatWest loan


Farmers gain crop storage space with NatWest loan

A South-of-England farmers’ co-operative grain store has expanded its storage capacity with £500,000 funding from NatWest.

Chichester Grain will use the money to increase its storage capacity by 1,000 tonnes with the installation of four 250 tonne grain hoppers, and halve the turnaround times from in and out of stores by upgrading its intake pits.

By enhancing the smooth running of the store, Chichester Grain’s daily grain intake capacity will also increase to 2,000 tonnes from 1,500 tonnes.

The co-operative was set up over 40 years ago to provide arable farmers in Sussex and Hampshire with vital quality crops storage space and grain dryer service. The organisation, which has 37 members, also supports farmers market their crops.

Chichester Grain employs a manager and three seasonal members of staff during the busy summer period.

Chichester Grain Chairman, Jonathan Bentall, worked with Simon Suter, Senior Agriculture Manager, at NatWest’s Chichester branch, to secure funding for the equipment upgrade.

Recruitment of new members to the co-operative

Bentall said: "We are hugely excited about being able to offer our members this level of efficiency and they can pass on the benefits to their own businesses. We also hope this will support recruitment of new members to the co-operative.

"The last few years have been a difficult time for everyone involved in farming but this year is looking more positive.  Our priority is to continue to provide local farmers with as much support as possible to ensure their farms thrive. NatWest have been critical in supporting Chichester Grain deliver first-class support to the local farming community."

Chichester Grain aims to increase capacity further by building new storage space on recently purchased land.

Suter said: "Chichester Grain is a core part of our local agricultural economy, enabling farmers to maximise their business’ individual potential. Jonathan and his team are committed to supporting their members and NatWest is delighted to be part of this exciting new development."

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