The Fresh Start Land Matching Conference was held at Chatsworth House on 8th November.

Fresh Start Land Matching Conference Success

Professor Matt Lobley, Director of the Centre for Rural Policy Research, was one of the speakers at the Fresh Start Land Matching Conference that was held at Chatsworth House on 8th November.  On a gloriously frosty morning, his informative presentation on family farming, succession and entry to farming was enthusiastically received by the audience. 

Founded in 2004 in response to the Curry Report, the Fresh Start Land Enterprise Centre (www.freshstartlandenterprise.org.uk) aims to encourage new thinking among land and business entrepreneurs by stimulating the uptake of training, the development of management and marketing skills and innovative ways of working together.  The Fresh Start team use their expertise and industry experience to help new and established land based businesses by delivering academies covering a range of business skills including business planning, sources of finance, applying for tenancies, adding value through diversification and interview coaching.  In addition to their academies, they also offer mentoring and land matchmaking services which have expanded from the Pig, Dairy and Uplands sectors to include Beef, Horticulture and Sheep.

Professor Lobley has a long association with Fresh Start and is on their Land Matching service advisory board.  He said “Within England the Fresh Start Land Partnerships initiative offers a unique opportunity to match budding ‘land entrepreneurs’ with existing landowners. We know that there are lots of people who are looking for a start in farming and many landowners and farmers who can offer various ways of entering into a joint venture. This is not a quick solution for people who want to get in to farming or those without a successor who are looking at alternate ways of seeing their business continue. It takes time to facilitate the right matches and for all parties concerned to build the necessary trust. However, given sufficient support, it is a great way of injecting ‘new blood’ in to our farming sector.”

Date: 29 November 2017

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