Farm diversification fund available in Orkney

Farmers in Orkney are being invited to consider diversifying their business, through funding from the LEADER programme.

Local farmers who are considering diversifying are being encouraged to find out more about Orkney’s LEADER programme.

The Orkney LEADER programme has grant funding available for farm diversification projects within Orkney.

The funding, which is part-financed by the Scottish Government and European Community, is available to help Orkney farmers diversify into non-agricultural activity, with up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs available through the scheme.

Farm diversification can be a way to stabilise or increase income, utilising farm assets such as land, buildings or equipment. Some examples of diversification activities which may be eligible for funding could include:

  • Provision of leisure activities such as equine facilities, bike hire or adventure playgrounds
  • Service provision such as kennels, exhibition spaces and cafes
  • Creation of retail spaces such as farm shops or retail outlets
  • Provision of specialised tourist accommodation, such as farm campsites and glamping pods

The LEADER team are holding a special farm diversification event on Tuesday 21 November, at 7pm in the St Magnus Suite, Pickaquoy Centre to provide more information on the funding available and how to apply.

There will be presentations from SAC Consulting on the benefits of diversification and Business Gateway regarding successful business planning.  The LEADER team will be providing information on the types of eligible projects, the amount of funding available and the LEADER application process and the support available, as well as being on hand to answer any questions.

Phyllis Harvey, Orkney LEADER Local Action Group Vice-Chair, said: “With farm incomes increasingly unsure and the uncertainty brought by Brexit to the farming industry, the funding available through LEADER presents an opportunity to look at new ways of generating income.

The funding available must be awarded prior to the point that the UK leaves the EU and spent by the end of December 2020, therefore, if you have an interest in diversifying I would urge you to attend the event to find out more.”

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