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06.06.06
Rural training centre flourishes on Cornish Farm

An innovative Cornish farm diversification project which offers training for people with physical and learning disabilities is expanding its services.

The Moorvue Rural Centre at Newbridge, Penzance was launched five years ago, with help and support from Business Link Devon and Cornwall, to provide training and courses in IT, horticulture, animal care and crafts. Now the centre has received additional investment from Business Link which has enabled it to open new facilities for respite care.

Husband and wife team Nicola and Stephen Cock started the centre from their 272 acre farm after realising the potential for more local provision. Training is structured to meet different needs depending on the individual's disability, which varies from physical disability, learning and behavioural difficulties and mental health issues. Since its foundation, Moorvue Rural Centre has built up a reputation as a 'Centre of Excellence' for training.

Nicola Cock said: "Demand has grown consistently for the training we provide and as some of our clients attend courses lasting from one to four days per week, we began to feel the need for some residential facilities on site. Business Link originally gave us support setting up and with our business plan and so we talked to them about some help with the residential unit.

"They have been brilliant, Business Link assisted us with grant funding for the building, which is now open for use. The unit has two bedrooms and is purpose built for wheelchair users, so our clients can bring their carers, attend the day centre and take part in the activities."

The couple continues to farm the land at Newbridge but is hoping the rural centre and respite unit will develop further in coming years to benefit the business.

Marilyn Pryor, contract manager for Business Link's Rural Diversification Capital Grant Initiative said: "This is a fantastic example of farm diversification which has been helped with grant funding from Objective One. It also shows the variety of projects which can be run from farms – the activities Nicola and Stephen are running are very specialist but they have accurately identified a real need in the community." She continued: "The farm now has an additional income source which enables it to keep running. Without it, it would slowly go into decline."

For further information on the rural centre and respite care please contact Nicola or Stephen Cock on 01736 365491. For information on the Rural Diversification Capital Grant Initiative please contact Business Link on 0845 600 9966.

For further information please contact Maxine McAdams on 01566 771862 or email: mmcadams@marketing-pr.co.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in Business Link's Rural Diversification Capital Grant Initiative through the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF).

Anyone considering a new horticulture, food and land based industries project is advised to speak with Martin Butler at Government Office South West on 01752 635134 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.

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Editor's notes:

Business Link Devon and Cornwall
Business Link provides a free information and enquiry service via an information gateway on the web www.bldc.co.uk and via the telephone on 0845 600 9966 to all businesses and those considering starting a business. Additionally it provides impartial business advice and support through a network of partner organisations, which it co-ordinates, and a register of independent business practitioners. Business Link for Devon and Cornwall delivers the national Business Link service to the region under contract from the South West RDA.

Business Link has received Objective One investment (European Regional Development Fund and EAGGF) to help companies improve performance and grow.

Learning and Skills Council (LSC)
The LSC exists to make England better skilled and more competitive. It is responsible for planning and funding high-quality vocational education and training for everyone. It has a single goal: to improve the skills of England's young people and adults to world-class standards. Their vision is that by 2010, young people and adults in England have the knowledge and skills matching the best in the world and are part of a truly competitive workforce. Established in 2001 the LSC works nationally, regionally and locally from a network of offices across the country.

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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