£138m government boost will help farms to diversify
FARMERS could benefit from government funds to diversify.
Rural communities across the UK will have access to £138 million to create jobs and boost the rural economy.
FarmingministerGeorge Eustice made the announcement on Wednesday, October 12, which will give local communities power to support projects in their own area.
Projects previously funded include villages benefiting from heritage funding to boost tourism, farmers diversifying into farm shops, ice cream parlours and camping sites and local food producers of cheese and meats supported to expand their product lines.
Mr Eustice said: “We want to grow our rural economy which is why we’re making funding available to local communities so they can invest in projects to bring more jobs and enterprise to their areas.”
In the 2007-2013 Rural Development Programme, Town Farm in Ivinghoe, in the Chiltern Hills, received funding to expand its business and is now welcoming guests to its camping and caravanning site each year.
Farmer Keith Bennett, of Chiltern Farm Food in Coleshill, said: “The government needs to make sure that the money reaches the farmers who actually need it and doesn’t go to consultants. We have a 150-acre small farm and we would not be here today if we had not diversified. There is no way we could have survived. Supermarkets want to buy from the bigger producers. Diversifying has kept us going.”
Mr Bennett’s farm has a farm shop and each weekend sells produce at various farmers’ markets.
The government’s approach builds on August’s announcement of the Government’s first Rural Productivity Plan which hopes to see the government work closely with local communities to allow the rural economy to grow. HUNDREDS of in Buckinghamshire are under threat as Red Bull threatens to quit the Formula 1 championship.
The team’s factory at Milton Keynes may close if the decision goes ahead.
The Red Bull chief technical officer, Adrian Newey, said the team may quit F1 because relations with current engine supplier Renault have broken down and rival manufacturers are “too fearful” of supplying them with engines.
“Red Bull have so far been unable to find a new partner.
“We’re possibly going to be forced out of Formula 1 – Mercedes and Ferrari have refused to supply us out of fear,” Mr Newey added.
Seven hundred jobs at the team’s Milton Keynes factory are at stake.
Newey said the team would take a decision on whether to race in 2016 well before the end of the year “because design and manufacturing lead times are such that you need to know what you’re putting in the car”.
With Renault’s decision to stop providing engines to F1, Newey says Mercedes and Ferrari have reneged on promises to step in and supply Red Bull because “they became concerned we would beat them with their own engine”.
Currently, the only other engine provider in F1 is Honda, which supplies the McLaren team – but Newey says even that option is subject to a McLaren veto.
Farmer Keith Bennett