Funding boost for Rutland farm and Thorney riding school
A Rutland farm and a Thorney-based riding school have received almost £85,000 of Leader grant funding, secured by Rutland County Council and
Opportunity Peterborough to support rural business growth.
Manor Farm in Rutland has been awarded £25,540 for new drilling equipment to improve cultivation and soil quality.
The farm produces and wide range of crops and will be offering other farmers in the area a chance to see the benefits of its new equipment as part of its funding agreement.
Andrew Morley, the owner of Manor Farm said: "A direct drill is a significant investment so this Leader funding will have a huge impact on our work.
"Our soil will be better maintained meaning we can improve productivity and potentially expand our work."
Middle East Farm Riding School, which trades as Bar Pasture Stables, is the second business to benefit from this latest grant.
Based in Thorney, near Peterborough, the school has received £57,941 to build a new indoor training arena.
The yard has been running for seven years and is home to 17 horses, offering riding lessons for individuals and groups of all ages and abilities, as well as livery.
"Having an indoor arena means we can hold our classes year-round no matter the weather; ice, rain and heavy winds can be problematic and
potentially dangerous for beginner riders, so only having outdoor space means we reschedule quite a few lessons," said stables manager Laura Horrell.
"An indoor facility also means we can diversify more easily like making the space available for other riding groups and the wider public to use.
"This way we can grow the business without compromising on the high-quality, personalised service our clients receive during their lessons."
Leader grants aim to boost the rural economy, from supporting tourism and small business growth to aiding the development of agriculture, farm
diversification and forestry.
In rural Peterborough and Rutland, the £1.3 million funding programme is being delivered by Opportunity Peterborough with support from
Rutland County Council.
Council leader Oliver Hemsley said: "Nearly £400,000 worth of grant funding has already been awarded to support businesses across Rutland and rural Peterborough which is brilliant news.
"More applications are being processed and evaluated so we would hope to see this figure increase by the time of final grant approvals next March."
Steve Bowyer, the chief executive of Opportunity Peterborough, said the grants will support "real" business growth.
"Supporting the rural economy is vital – particularly given the huge role it plays across Rutland and Peterborough," he said.
"With only a few weeks left until the application deadline we would strongly urge anyone who has not completed their expression of interest to
complete and submit it by August 31."
The work is also supported by a Local Action Group (LAG) made up of 14 local volunteers from a variety of sectors and professions.
The LAG approve funding for projects with the aim of improving the overall prosperity of the area.
“It’s great to have had these two grants approved ahead of the 31 August deadline for expressions of interest," said Dennis Stanley, chairman of the LAG.
"It shows the breadth of projects that the programme can, and has, supported and the diversity of the rural economy."