Through its Inspiring Eden programme and working in partnership with the Farmer Network, Eden District Council is unveiling a fully-funded support package for farmers in the area.
The programme has now launched, and it is hoped that this will help Eden's farm businesses between now and the end of March 2023.
A wide range of support is on offer. This includes one-to-one farm business advice tailored to your situation. This could be in the form of a farm business review; assessment of the farm’s potential for current and future environmental payments; help to identify farm diversification opportunities; and support with succession planning or retirement options.
Funding for training and development is also available for younger farmers. Training vouchers worth 50% of the cost of training up to £200 are available for farmers aged 40 and under together with training bursaries for up to 3 young farmers. There are also fully-funded places on the Business Support for Young People Programme for 18 to 30 year olds who want to progress a farming related business idea.
Vouchers worth up to £2,500 to help fund the cost of a full carbon audit and soil testing for carbon are also on offer to help farmers in their journey towards net-zero.
The programme will include a series of workshops to help farmers adapt to the changes to support payments and the rising cost of farm inputs. The first of these will be on the evening of Wednesday 15 June on planning farm succession and the Lump Sum Exit Scheme at the Hired Lad, Penrith auction and this workshop will also cover the support available through the Eden farm business programme.
Cllr Mary Robinson, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Economy and Enterprise at Eden District Council said:
"We have long recognised the important role the farming community plays in food production and managing the landscapes that visitors to Eden so love. We feel it is important to help our farmers prepare for the future during unprecedented times, and we are delighted to work with the Farmer Network and its partners to deliver this support.
"I am determined that the Council does what it can to support farmers and farming, which forms the backbone for many of Eden’s local communities which are facing significant challenges over the coming months and years. We are working with the Farmer Network to put in place a bespoke business service that will help farmers on a 1-to-1 basis in supporting existing activity and exploring new opportunities for diversification. I am very proud that we are able to assist in this way and will continue to fight for the future of farming."
Adam Day, Managing Director of the Farmer Network said:
"This is a fantastic opportunity for all farmers within the Eden area. The role of the Farmer Network is to help farmers run viable and sustainable businesses reacting to every challenge and opportunity.
"There are a wide variety of farming types within the Eden area from the peaks of the High Pennines to the Eastern fells and including the fertile Eden Valley. The programme is intended to support all farmers in the current transition away from direct support payments towards Environmental Land Management."
For more information, contact Adam Day, Managing Director of The Farmer Network on 01768 868615 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.