Folk2Folk has appointed Ian Bell to the newly-created role of head of farm & rural engagement.
Bell’s role will be to raise Folk2Folk’s profile across rural Britain, improving awareness of its offering to its target audience, as well as assisting the company in deepening its understanding of the many challenges its borrowing customers face.
He will be responsible for bringing the Launceston-based lending platform closer to the farming community and improving landowner engagement.
Bell has been a prominent figure in the UK agricultural arena for many years, having created the rural charity, The Addington Fund in 2001, and successfully acting as its CEO before standing down earlier this month.
Drawing on this experience, he will also lead Folk2Folks’s corporate, social, and responsibility programme, with the launch of a new charitable foundation.
This foundation will seek to alleviate the symptoms and problem of social deprivation in rural areas, while also providing opportunities for newcomers to enter the farming industry, coupled with a safety net for those who may have fallen on harder times. Further details will be announced in due course.
CEO, Giles Cross, said: “We’re delighted that Ian has joined the team. Building a strong and vibrant rural economy is vital to our long-term wellbeing and Ian’s knowledge, guidance and experience can only strengthen Folk2Folk’s reputation as a trusted enabler for UK farmers and rural business.”