Applications are now open and course details have been formulated for the new Fresh Start Uplands Academy which will be based at Newton Rigg College near Penrith.
Funded by The Prince's Countryside Fund, anyone over 18 years from farming and non farming backgrounds is eligible for a place, but there are only 20 available. The deadline for applications is 15th January 2013. The Academy is aimed at those who would like to take the next step in establishing a new farming or other land based business in the uplands and those looking to take over a family farm. It is steered by a stakeholder group with representatives from across the industry.
The Academy sessions are spread over four days, two in February and two in June and will cover a range of topics - from putting together a business plan, to looking at tenancy options to case studies of successful enterprises. The College's Low Beckside Farm will be used for on-farm practicals such as determining optimal income streams, including diversification. Other visits will take place to established innovative farm businesses.
Julia Aglionby, Director of the College's National Centre for the Uplands said: "This is a wonderful opportunity to hone and develop skills, in order to run a successful enterprise. Networking with others in similar situations, as well as established farmers and related professionals, will enable ideas to be tested and feedback to be given. Farming in the hills requires a range of skills and in these challenging times, optimising returns and cash flow from livestock with income from government support and environmental schemes is core to success in the uplands.
"We have a range of excellent speakers, including farmers, and the sessions will be interactive and hands on. If you have an interest in uplands agriculture and are wanting to take your business forward, then contact us without delay. This course could transform your business."
Understanding your assets and financial planning will feature in the first of the day-long sessions - on 5th February. This will be followed by the second date of 19th February then sessions on 4th June and 18th June. There is a nominal cost of £50
per place at the Academy
Farm Business Tenancy Opportunity - Edgehill Farm, Ulverston
Keeping Up to Date with Current Planning Issues
Farm Planning Precisely - Notification of Intention Procedure