Plans are now taking shape for the launch of the Fresh Start Uplands Academy which will be based at Newton Rigg College, with applications invited from the 1st December. Funded by The Prince's Countryside Fund, this will be a pilot academy for the uplands, with two further academies opening elsewhere next year.
Wes Johnson, Campus Principal Newton Rigg
Fresh Start is a national initiative concentrating on business skills and those looking to build their own businesses. The Academy will have a core focus of farming but will cover other areas such as forestry, contracting and diversification.
A steering group has already met at the College, and represents wide ranging interests. Members include local farmers, land agents, the National Trust, Natural England as well as college staff.
It is anticipated that the Academy will open in February and it is aimed at those over 18 years. It is open to both those from non farming and farming backgrounds.
Wes Johnson, Principal of Newton Rigg College said: "This is a hugely exciting initiative and we are delighted to be a partner in the project. The Academy will cover both the practical and commercial skills needed and is a super opportunity for anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit who wants to take the next step in their career or perhaps look at a new uplands based career."
He added: "The programme will be delivered in "bite sized" blocks in February and June, and covering topics such as applying for a tenancy and writing a business plan and also includes a mentoring system. And of course it is an ideal "fit" with our own National Centre for the Uplands, announced last month." It is expected that there will be around 20 places.
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