New rural business support scheme for farmers

A new Objective One funded scheme is now up and running which offers consultancy support to help farmers who wish to improve their current business performance or who wish to diversify part or all of their business away from farming.

The 2 million project has been approved for a 690,000 grant from the Objective One European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF), with match funding coming from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), with the remainder coming from the private sector. The scheme will be run by Business Link.

Help is available in several areas with ability to access each part of the project as appropriate:

Action Plans this supplements the work carried out under the Farm Business Advice Service. It is aimed at those who wish to look at their current business and to identify the way forward. It provides an initial analysis of the business, reviews the options available and will signpost to areas of support such as grant availability, training and further business support. It is 100% funded.

Business Support this provides consultancy support to help with the overall business planning, reviewing of options and preparation of business plans, cash flows and budgets. It is 60% funded. Options are flexible but can include cash flows; budgets; business plans; review of options; investigation of overheads and direct costs.

Full Planning Support this provides support to assist farmers through the whole planning process where developments are taking place on the holding that require planning permissions. It is 50% funded. This can include preparation of schematic details; design / detailed plans; discussion with relevant authority; submission of outline / full planning application; possible use of quantity surveyor but specifically excludes any planning fees.

Feasibility Studies this provides an in-depth but flexible approach to help examine all aspects of a proposed venture to ensure it is a viable and feasible option before action is taken. It is 60% funded. This service will be available to individuals who are looking at their own potential developments and to groups where collaborative ventures are under discussion.

All work will be delivered by Approved Consultants operating in Cornwall from a wide variety of consultancy organisations and individuals. No work should be started before eligibility is confirmed, quotes have been obtained and a detailed terms of reference has been agreed. The Terms of Reference will need to set out the work to be undertaken, the timescale, the cost and the consultant to deliver the work.


Editors notes:

For all queries regarding the Rural Business Support Initiative, please contact Gary Ensor, Agricultural Funding Manager, Business Link on 0845 600 9966 or e-mail: gary.ensor@prosper-group.co.uk.


Jason Clark
Communications Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel:01872 241379
Fax:01872 241388