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13.08.04
Guests of 1930s farm to get modern creature comforts

Guests at a farm on the Roseland Peninsula in mid Cornwall which specialises in 'hands-on' holidays from a bygone era will soon be able to enjoy improved modern-day creature comforts thanks to a £50,000 investment package from Finance Cornwall and Barclays Bank.

Finance Cornwall is a £20 million investment fund backed by £9 million from the Objective One European Regional Development Fund.

For the past six years Treloan Farm Holidays at Portscatho has offered its guests the experience of stepping back into the 1930s and 40s by staying on a traditional working farm complete with heavy horses and helping out if they wish.

Now, thanks to the £50,000 investment package put together by Finance Cornwall and Barclays Bank, the farm's basic toilet and shower block is being refurbished, new washroom facilities for the disabled are being installed and a number of site improvements are being made to enhance the visitor experience and cater for disabled holidaymakers.

Treloan Farm is part of Lord Falmouth's Tregothnan Estate and was taken over by Victor Barry and his family in 1998, having remained largely unchanged for decades.

Seizing the opportunity of working with the qualities of the virtual time capsule, Mr Barry made the decision to farm the land as it would have been in days gone by, using heavy horses and early machinery along with traditional organic farming methods to work and harvest the land.

The commercial viability came with using the farming practices of a time gone by as a visitor experience for tourists. Guests at the farm can stay in self-catering luxury mobile homes or pitch their caravan or tent at the campsite and then take an active part in farm life, helping to work the land, feed and care for the cattle, pigs, horses and poultry and even milk cows.

The farm will soon be offering guests the opportunity to use their stay to gain qualifications with a Certificate in Working and Management in Agricultural Heavy Horses which will soon be available after Mr Barry has attained the necessary lecturing qualifications.

Mr Barry is passionate about preserving traditional farming practices and sharing his knowledge and practices with others. He said: "It is vital that we act quickly to stop old fashioned farming practices being lost forever, it would be a great loss to farming heritage if we let some of the historic farming processes of using heavy horses and early machinery slip through our fingers.

"For the last couple of years we have struggled to chase after various grants to secure the necessary funding towards realising our ambitions for the farm. My local branch of Barclays Bank pointed me in the direction of Finance Cornwall and since then I have never looked back. I am delighted that I discovered Finance Cornwall as they have made the process of getting finance a great deal easier."

Mr Barry and his family have already come a long way towards turning Treloan Farm into an attractive holiday destination. Recent improvements have included the purchase of heavy horse driving equipment for disabled use and the creation of a trail around the farm which is suitable for wheelchairs.

The investment package from Finance Cornwall and Barclays Bank will provide working capital to enable further improvements to take place.

Plans to extend footpaths to the nearby beach and village and to replace two of the farm's static holiday vans with permanent eco-friendly molecular units bedded into the hillside are currently in the pipeline.

Finance Cornwall Fund Manager, Jeff Lenihan, said: "Treloan Farm Holidays is a great concept for a tourism business and we hope that our investment will play an important part in helping the enterprise to develop and improve its offering so that it can attract even more visitors on a year round basis."

Stuart Moyse, Corporate Business Manager of the Cornwall Corporate Team of Barclays Bank said: "Treloan Farm Holidays provides a unique experience for families visiting Cornwall and it is very rewarding to be able to support such an enterprise and help it to develop."

Finance Cornwall has invested a total of £1.68 million in 33 Cornish businesses, helping to attract an additional £10 million of funding from the private and public sector.

For more information visit www.financecornwall.co.uk

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Editor's notes:

Finance Cornwall background

Finance Cornwall is a £20 million investment fund backed by £9 million from the Objective One European Regional Development Fund.

For more information contact:

Jason Clark
Deborah Clark & Associates
01872 276276
07980 834368

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Sue Wolstenholme
Objective One Communications
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01579 370991

lmroberts@cornwall.gov.uk

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