More investment for farmers' support service
Farmers in West Cornwall will benefit from more than £300,000
in new investment to extend the work of the Penwith Farm Business
Centre for a further three years.
The Farm Business Centre, led by John Forster, was set up
in 2002 to help farmers and farm businesses across Penwith.
New investment from Objective One, the Department for Environment,
Food and Rural Affairs and other local investors have ensured
the centre's future until September 2008.
"This is excellent news as this new money means we can
now develop our role further at what is clearly a critical
time for the farming industry," said John Forster, who
heads the team at the centre, which is based at Long Rock,
"A vibrant Penwith agriculture can only be achieved
if we embrace the changes and challenges taking place and
start producing good, quality traditional foods which are
The Farm Business Centre was set up three years ago to offer
support and advice to the district's farmers and to help them
develop their businesses. This includes giving access to training
and new skills, giving business advice and helping farmers
access other sources of funding and support by making links
with other providers and investors such as Business Link Devon
and Cornwall, the VTS or Cornwall Taste of the West.
"By working in partnership with others it has been easier
to help raise farmers' capacity to look over the farm gate,"
Mr Forster added. "Our unique role in the county has enabled
us to bring some real financial benefits to the region's farming
economy. What I hope we will be able to do over the next three
years is to develop some new initiatives, including looking
at alternative markets and improving quality."
David Rodda, senior agricultural coordinator for the Cornwall
Agricultural Council Development Team, said: "The innovative
approach taken by John, in Penwith is making a significant
contribution to the strategic goals of the Cornwall Agricultural
Council. By engaging the farmers in the area John has involved
them in the work of the Penwith Farm Business Centre and assisted
them to look to the future. This extension will enable John
to build on the strong foundations that have been laid over
the past three years."
The Objective One investment of £155,000 comes from
EAGGF funds, complemented by £35,000 from Defra. The
remainder of the investment comes from Cornwall County Council,
Penwith District Council, the Bolitho Estate, St Aubyn Estate
and the Tregothnan Estate and contributions from the private
For further information please contact John Forster, Helena
Worthington or Julia Rowlands at the Penwith Farm Business
Centre on 01736 352012 or email: www.farmcornwall.co.uk.
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the
Isles of Scilly has invested in the Farm Cornwall project
through the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund
Anyone considering a new horticulture, food and
land based industries project is advised to speak with Maria
Ford, at Government Office South West on 01752 635015 before
commencing development as there are now only limited funds
available due to the successful uptake of funding by the agricultural
sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439