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Clydesdale Bank invests £6m in biomass heat for UK poultry sector

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Clydesdale Bank has announced a £6 million (€7 million) investment to support North Yorkshire’s poultry sector using renewable energy.

The funding, a collaborative effort between the bank’s renewable and agricultural divisions, has allowed biomass boiler company, Biomass Group, to acquire Richard Maxwell Ltd and provide renewable heating to poultry sheds.

Owning and operating 12 MW of biomass boilers, Biomass Group delivers sustainable heat at a level of 24 GWh per year, saving more than 6,000 tonnes of CO2. Biomass boilers are key to ‘greening’ farming operations, as they offer an opportunity to replace fossil fuel heating systems with a sustainable alternative, such as wood chips or wood pellets.

Keith Wilson, head of renewable energy at Virgin Money, which owns Clydesdale Bank, said: “As an entrepreneurial organisation that is committed to net zero, we believe we have an important role to play in supporting businesses seeking to transition to more sustainable forms of energy

“Lending in support of on-site renewable heat generation plays well to our strengths and is rapidly becoming a niche for our team at Virgin Money, with this transaction being our third, in as many years.”

“This acquisition will make a real difference on the ground by providing renewable heat generation to large-scale poultry producers who are aware of the impact of fossil fuels on their climate emissions,” commented Brian Richardson, head of agriculture at Virgin Money.

“This is great for the sector, indicating the direction of travel and what needs to be done to prepare for the future.”