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Farmers in Peak District invited to brush up business skills at Fresh Start Uplands Academy

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: August 30, 2014

The first Bagshaws Store Lamb Sale.

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A HIGHLY successful training programme for farmers of the future is set to return to the Peak District for a second year.

The Peak District Fresh Start Uplands Academy offers budding rural entrepreneurs the chance to 'brush up' their business skills and learn new ones which will help them get a foot on the farming ladder or bring new ideas to an existing family business.

Applications are now open for the 2014 Academy, which will be based at The Farming Life Centre at Blackwell, near Buxton, and is open to anyone over the age of 18.

Fresh Start Land Enterprise Centre Director, Alison Rickett, said: "Fresh Start has 10 years' experience of working with new entrants in the industry and is a national leader in innovative approaches to land agreements. Our specialist uplands academies were launched in 2012 and we're delighted to be returning to the Peak District this autumn as last year's academy was a particularly successful one, with quite a number of the participants moving on to new business ventures since."

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The programme is delivered in 10 sessions running over three months in a mixture of daytime and evening meetings.

The essentials of writing business plans, learning how to work with various finance options and looking at a variety of business agreements including joint ventures will be covered.

Participants will have a unique opportunity to talk with a wide range of industry professionals and gain an inside perspective on the business of farming.

The course also includes a hands-on 'tenancy exercise', providing valuable insight into the process of applying for a farm tenancy through mock interviews and business plan presentations.

To view the full course programme and download an application form visit www.thefarminglifecentre.org.uk or www.freshstartlandenterprise.org.uk .

For more information call Julia Cook, Peak District Co-ordinator on 01298 85162 or Alison Rickett, Fresh Start Director, on 07771 911905.

Applications close at 5pm on Tuesday, September 30.

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