Tag Archive: grants

Great Yorkshire Show: Join the Debate

Great Yorkshire Show commences in just a few weeks (10th – 12th July). As always, we invite you to join us on our stand (201) to meet our team as well as enjoying some light refreshments.



Schedule of Events

Tuesday 10th July
10.30am – George F. White Tenancy Update with Matthew Brown and Robyn Peat (TFA stand – 715)
5pm – Evening drinks and canapé reception (George F. White stand – 201)

Wednesday 11th July
11am – Join the Debate: the direct effects of Brexit on farming businesses (George F. White stand – 201)

Thursday 12th July
8.30am – Succession Planning for Tenant Farming Families with Matthew Brown (NFU stand – 680)

Great Yorkshire Show

We predict that post Brexit resilience will be a key focus at the Great Yorkshire Show this year; we will be hosting a panel debate to discuss the effects a reduced subsidy environment will have on farmers, landowners and rural businesses.



Join the Debate: the direct effects of Brexit on farming businesses

George F. White
Stand 201
Wednesday 11th July, 11am

The key debaters are Geoff Hall, Regional Director at Lloyds Bank, John Lund, a livestock farmer, Tom Bayston, an arable farmer and owner of Park Lodge Shooting School as well as George F. Whites, Simon Britton and Miles Crossley, who will explain why alternative income streams need to be a key priority for the sector.

Talking ahead of the Great Yorkshire Show, Simon Britton said: “It’s clear now that there is a significant change in farm subsidies on the horizon and for many it could be substantially reduced. Mr George Eustice, the Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries & Food, recently described his vision for post Brexit agricultural policy within the UK as a ‘change in mind set for farmers’. The Minister stated that he saw new policy as ‘rewarding and incentivising farmers for what they do, and not subsidising them for income lost’ and indicated that the government will still seek to support farmers, not based on the amount of land they own, but by rewarding them for helping the environment, water quality and to changes in husbandry; ultimately making more productive working practices. This is a fundamental change to our industry and will significantly impact farm businesses. The purpose of our debate, and the main aim of our farm consultancy team moving forwards, is to prepare our client’s businesses for the impact of the changes that will face us, as an industry, over the next few years.”

Great Yorkshire Show

 

Attendees are encouraged to get involved in the debate, asking questions and providing opinions on what the future holds in a subsidy free farming environment and how they can or are planning to safeguard their main farm business and what financial support exists outside of government grant opportunities.

Simon added: “Geoff Hall from Lloyds will talk about how banks can support farmers following Brexit through secured lending and cash flow support. Tom Bayston, will be illustrating how he’s diversified from the core livestock business to safeguard the future of his farm. Ultimately, we’ll be discussing what reduced subsidy looks like, what it means it terms of profit and loss for farmers, and how, if you’re a farmer or a landowner, why you’re in a prime position to provide long term security and stability to yourself and your business. It’s going to be a somewhat lively and energetic debate, so please join us if you can.”

Click here to RSVP

Step inside the Cookie Jar

The Cookie Jar is a five-star boutique hotel situated in Alnwick, Northumberland. It’s the ultimate retreat for alternative accommodation and an unconventional entertainment venue in the North East.

The Cookie Jar was formerly St Mary’s Convent, a beautiful and historic building in Bailiffgate. The building has been transformed into a luxury bespoke hotel with 11 magnificent rooms and suites. The owners ensured the key features of the convent were kept in addition to the contemporary decor, giving it that extraordinary and special touch. It’s an opulent vision of modern hospitality and as a result guests have been delighted with the attention to detail.

Cookie Jar

The face behind The Cookie Jar is Debbie Cook – an experienced hotelier and wife of Robert, the award-winning UK hotelier. She was determined to provide a first-class experience in keeping with the history and the traditional aspects of the building.

Establishing The Cookie Jar retreat has been no mean feat. There were so many details involved, across so many different aspects. One key process was the conversion of the building itself and its surrounding land.

Cookie JarHamish Smales, an estate manager at George F. White who worked with Debbie on the project, explains:

“Purchasing the old convent was probably the easiest part. The challenge was creating a luxurious boutique hotel that kept the convent’s beauty in terms of architecture and design but with a modern twist that appealed to guests, all within the client’s budget. Given the idea behind The Cookie Jar, and its impact on tourism in the area, we advised Debbie about the financial support the hotel could potentially receive, if it met specific funding criteria.”

The team looked at and reviewed the range of possible grant opportunities that The Cookie Jar could be applicable too. When advising on the best grant to select, George F. White chose the LEADER programme for the Cookie Jar dream.. The LEADER programme is a European Union funded scheme which provides grants for:

  • small and mid-sized rural businesses;
  • tourism projects;
  • rural enterprises.

“We handled the entire funding application process for Debbie, from beginning to end,” continues Hamish. “This included creating a business plan for Debbie, costings to deliver the project and detailed market research. We had to outline exactly why Debbie and her enterprise should be awarded a grant and provide specific detail on the contribution The Cookie Jar would make to Alnwick and the wider Northumberland region.

For example, we explained that workers involved in constructing the hotel would be hired from the local area which included local builders and merchants. Hospitality staff would also be hired locally by the hotel in the form of permanent contracts, and local suppliers would also be involved – for example, The Cookie Jar only provide locally sourced food from local food producers that is created and prepared by renowned local chef and Mine Host of The Cookie Jar, Mick Holland – on a long-term basis.”

The application for the LEADER programme involves two key stages.Cookie Jar

  • An outline application to Northumberland County Council;
  • A Local Action Group who decides whether funding should be granted based on a number of different criteria.

LEADER is a highly competitive scheme meaning the application submission was absolutely fundamental to securing the funding.

“We were delighted when The Cookie Jar was awarded nearly £70,000 worth of grant support,” explains Hamish. “This funding has been so important in helping Debbie achieve her vision of providing a luxurious, cosy, and comfortable retreat in the heart of Northumberland. It was a very tough application process, and bigger projects, focused on rural tourism and business, were rejected, so it was very pleasing to tell Debbie that we’d been successful in rewarding her with the cash injection for The Cookie Jar project.”

 



The Right Support and Skill Set

“We were told to speak to George F. White by a friend and I am so pleased we did!” adds Debbie. “They worked so closely with us and excellently prepared the funding application. As a result, we received almost £70,000, I was absolutely over the moon!”

“By winning the grant support, we were able to design and build a higher specification of the hotel than what was initially decided. It really helped us to achieve than five-star rating, that is in such high demand in the hospitality sector. I really appreciate the amount of contact and time Hamish spent with the team in making this dream a reality. George F. White, I cannot thank you enough!”



Cookie Jar

Model Business

The grant process not only provided a substantial of funding but, by applying in such detail for financial support, we were able to create a comprehensive business model for Debbie that can be replicated across the region and nationally too.

“As a result, Debbie now has a sound business model that she can roll out across other locations and regions if she does wish to expand her rural tourism offering”, continues Hamish. “We’re thrilled with the grant amount awarded and we wish Debbie and The Cookie Jar team the best of luck in this brand-new hospitality venture!”

To find out more about The Cookie Jar, visit their website.

Michael Gove on the Future of Farming

We asked Partner and Head of Farm, Simon Britton about his thoughts surrounding Michael Gove’s vision for the future of farming at the Oxford Farming Conference 2018.

Simon Britton - farming

‘Michael Gove has intimated that, post 2022, farming subsidies are clearly going to move from the current BPS scheme to a rewarding farmers for environmental benefits and promoting public access. It is hoped that this move does not jeopardise our UK Food security or force UK farmers to cut costs. The UK has one of the highest crop and animal welfare standards in the EU, let’s keep it that way.’

Over the past 12 months we have steered our advice, talks and seminars around the importance of business resilience in uncertain times. We are currently preparing our farming clients for change by helping them gain a better understanding of the financial health of their business. For more information on how our team can help you, please contact your local consultant:

Northumberland and Borders: David Hume
Durham: Alan Falshaw
Yorkshire: Sally Horrocks

Countryside Stewardship Scheme: Simplified Options

DEFRA has announced that the Countryside Stewardship Scheme is being simplified to make it easier for farmers and land managers to apply. Alan Falshaw (Agricultural Consultant) looks into the detail of what is involved in the new proposals.

Countryside Stewardship Scheme



Four New Offers

• Online Arable Offer
• Lowland Grazing Offer
• Upland Offer and
• Mixed Farming Offer



Other Changes

• Shorter application forms
• Streamlined evidence checks
• Non-competitive application process

All farmers who meet the eligibility requirements will get an agreement. This is a step change from the competitive process of previous applications. The options available for the four strands above have all come from the Countryside Stewardship Scheme and are more focused on the particular offer. The number of options available for each offer ranges from eleven to fourteen.


In addition, the popular Hedgerow and Boundary Grant has increased from £5,000 to £10,000 (maximum) per individual. £10 million pounds has been allocated to this grant alone.


As usual, the devil will be in the detail but farmers and land managers should view this as a further opportunity to access funding from the RPA whilst delivering positive environmental benefits.


For more information on Grants and Funding please contact your local consultant:

Northumberland and Borders: David Hume
Durham: Alan Falshaw
Yorkshire: Sally Horrocks

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