Devon County Council has now received £2.6 million worth of funding from Defra, to expand its Future Farming Resilience programme, following the successes of the initiative’s earlier phases.
The Farming Resilience programme was initially piloted in 2020, in response to the reductions of EU funded Direct Payments. It aims to boost the rural economy by helping farmers improve their business and the environment, as agricultural grants change or stop altogether.
And now, with the Defra funding, the programme will expand to cover the regions of Dorset, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, as well as the previously covered areas of Devon and Somerset.
More than 350 farms have already received one-to-one business support from the earlier phases of the Resilience project. From September, the programme will see that farmers and their families are supported through locally delivered information workshops; offering advice about changes taking place during the Agricultural Transition period.
Those who attend the workshops, and want to explore how the changes will affect their business in more detail, will have access to one-to-one business support. Specialist workshops will also be held on a range of topics including farming grant opportunities; how environmental schemes can help generate income, and the benefit of woodland creation for farmers.
Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council cabinet member for economic recovery and skills, said: “We are thrilled that we can continue and scale-up our support to farmers and landowners during this critical period, helping them to be prepared for the changes ahead.”
“Agriculture plays a key role in the Devon economy, supporting thousands of jobs both directly and through rural supply chains. Landowners’ guardianship of the landscape also acts as a driver for the wider tourism sector, making Devon an attractive place for people to live, work and visit.”
“By securing the full amount of our bid, we are able to build on the success of the initial programme in Devon and Somerset, which exceeded its initial targets. The Future Farming Resilience programme can help farming businesses and the rural economy to be more resilient, while also benefitting our local environment and helping to tackle the climate emergency,” Mr Gilbert concluded.
For enquiries about the programme, contact [email protected].