New entrants to hill farming and those who would like to get into the sector are being urged to take part in a free business academy.

The Fresh Start Uplands Academy aims to help new farmers develop the entrepreneurial skills needed to succeed in farming.

The next academies start in November and will be held in North Yorkshire and Derbyshire.

New entrants are often technically competent but lack basic business skills and confidence, said Julia Aglionby, director of the National Centre for the Uplands.

“The sessions are perfect for those with ambition, but who are afraid to ask for help because of the cost implications,” she said.

The programme includes topics such as joint ventures, finances, raising capital, land tenure and business plans. It was developed – and will be delivered by – local and national experts drawn from farming and non-farming.

There are 20 places in each venue and the closing date for applications is 30 September.

Fresh Start Academies have helped hundreds of farmers since 2006 in a range of sectors such as pigs and dairy.

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