South-west farmers miss out on free advice

Farmers and land based businesses in North Devon, Torridge and West Devon are not making the most of subsidised consultancy available to help improve their businesses, according to Business Link.

The Rural Business Growth Service, launched last year and funded by Devon Renaissance, offers 50% funding for consultancy advice, up to a maximum of £2000.

Run by Business Link Devon and Cornwall, the scheme enables farmers to get professional advice on improving business performance or diversifying into alternative enterprises.

But uptake has not been strong, according to Graham Woolcock, Business Link’s agricultural contract manager.

“The Single Farm Payment scheme has made a lot of farmers take a second look at their existing business to see whether the activities they have concentrated on in the past are fit to take them forward in the future – which is where this scheme can help,” he said.

“Businesses can get help with practical assistance to prepare business plans, cash flows and budgets to enable them to make sound financial decisions and face the future with more confidence.”
The project has a total of £200,000 available and ends in March 2008.

For more information contact Graham Woolcock or Ann Sellars of Business Link on 0845 6009006.

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