Clinics reveal massive interest
in farm diversification
Cornish farmers are literally queuing up for advice about
farm diversification according to Objective One project Cartwheel
Rural Tourism, which last week ran a 'sell-out' series of
free marketing clinics at Lanhydrock Golf Club near Bodmin.
With more than 20 farmers and landowners at last week's clinic
session, a second day already fully booked in November and
names down for third date in December, this massive level
of interest dispels any impression of apathy among farmers
towards rural progress and diversification in Cornwall.
Cartwheel runs the marketing clinics as part of the Objective
One Rural Tourism Marketing Grant scheme, which it administers.
At the sessions, farmers and landowners are able to pre-book
a half hour consultation with members of Cartwheel's marketing
team, with a view to applying for Objective One investment
to fund up to 50% of a variety of marketing activities. These
can range from brand development, websites and public relations
to direct mail, exhibition support and new signage.
According to Cartwheel chief executive Gina Woodcraft, the
success of the clinics is itself down to the innovative marketing
techniques they're designed to encourage. "We're practicing
what we preach, and it's working," says Gina Woodcraft. "We send out regular flyers about the marketing grants
that are creative, colourful and innovative. No two look the
same, but the message is always consistent: that successful
diversification into farm-based tourism is largely dependent
on how you present and market yourself. The results speak
Rural tourism is an area of major growth and opportunity
for Cornish farmers and landowners, offering visitors the
chance to enjoy a unique countryside experience
Cartwheel has a fund of £2 million to allocate for
rural marketing activities in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
over the next two years. It has already helped more than 300
farm businesses with grants of between £300 and £50,000,
and welcomes enquiries from existing rural tourism businesses
looking to expand and develop, as well as new 'start-ups'.
Examples of eligible businesses range from farm shops, cafes
and restaurants to farm accommodation and entertainment activities,
and can include joint-promotion collaborations between two
or more rural enterprises.
The main criteria for eligibility are that your project is
based in Cornwall or the Isles of Scilly; you manage at least
five acres of land; have an annual agricultural turnover of
£1,500 or more, and are a member of Cartwheel or Cornish
"So many land-based businesses are having to diversify
to survive," continues Gina Woodcraft. "Rural tourism
is a major growth area and presents a fantastic opportunity
for farmers here in Cornwall, if it's done well. By part-funding
professional support services like PR and design, the marketing
grants scheme will help give enterprises the polish and pizzazz
to compete and succeed."
With the November marketing clinics already fully booked
up, Cornish farmers and landowners are being invited to pre-book
a marketing consultation with Cartwheel at its following session
on Tuesday, 2 December at Lanhydrock Golf Club near Bodmin
by calling Sue McCormick on 01392 877842.
For more general information about the Rural Tourism Marketing
Grants scheme visit www.farmtourism.co.uk,
or call 01392 877842.
For more press information please contact
Gina Woodcraft or Sue McCormick at the Cartwheel office on
01392 877842, or mobile 07885 951931.
Cartwheel administers the Objective One funded
Rural Tourism Marketing Grants scheme for Cornwall and the
Isles of Scilly.
The scheme can invest up to 50% to fund projects
with a total value of up to £100,000.
Projects with a total value of less than £3,000
can be dealt with through the 'fast track' process, providing
a response within two weeks. Larger grant applications take
between four and six weeks to process.
Cartwheel is the South West of England's leading
farm and rural holiday company, offering visitors the chance
to enjoy a unique countryside experience. It is a private
sector limited company run by farmers and part funded by the
European Union, EAGGF and DEFRA.
All Cartwheel members are independently inspected
according to the company's quality criteria which encompasses
accommodation, local food, green tourism and sustainable land
Tel: 01363 866927
Fax: 01363 866093
Mob: 07808 06305
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388
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