The brief was to draft the Local Development Strategies for the proposed Heritage Coast and Wool Towns LEADER Areas.
The strategies were successfully delivered through a co-ordinated approach between two ARC consultants who took Suffolk County Council through the whole process, including liaising with Defra, the proposed Local Action Group Members and consulting with the wider rural communities.
The two areas both secured just over £1.5 million in European Funds.
The ARC consultants worked together to provide a significant landowner with advice on how to develop his farm business into a major strategic tourism operation.
Advice and direction were provided and grant aid sought.
The project is ongoing.
The pool of expertise that ARC provides has facilitated successful grant applications for the Rural Development Programmes Schemes. Joint working has supported projects that have ranged from farm business diversification, adding value, water and irrigation to renewable energy projects.
To help prospective tenant farmers shape strong tenancy applications for Norfolk’s County Farm Estate through half day training seminars.
The seven strong ARC team, brought a wide range of expertise to the project, which was co-ordinated by ARC Chairman, Richard Rampton.
Judy Randon led on personality assessment, uncovering the key attributes of a tenant farmer.
Richard Rampton created a practical exercise to demonstrate how a realistic budget should be created.
David Hughes brought his finance expertise to the fore, including how to deal with banks and unlock funding through leasing and hire-purchase and making funding go further.
Jamie Gwatkin focussed on how to manage risk through preparation and planning.
Clarke Willis explored the skills and opportunities needed to buy and sell.
Mike Appleyard shared his knowledge on how to get up to speed and stay there through personal development.
Emma Finn promoted the course to prospective tenants through the ARC website and social media.
In addition, a presentation by a current farm tenant highlighted life at the cutting edge of tenant farming, delegates toured the Morley Foundation farm, where the course was held and met with ARC consultants to discuss their business ideas.
The training seminars were very well received. 39 applications were made to Norfolk County Council, many of a high standard.
The brief was to undertake an extensive investigation into development opportunities to increase sugar beet productivity. This involved a major feasibility study for the clients’ board, to help shape their strategy for future business growth. The organisation is considering diversifying into one of three new areas of business to increase income and deliver high quality services to their existing and future customers.
Market research and analysis including:
Three visits to the Nile Delta and desert regions of Egypt to gain insight into the issues and potential relating to sugar beet productivity. Observations and suggested plans for improvement were feedback at three executive committee meetings, which resulted in the design and delivery of a project improvement plan, with timescales, milestones and measurable.
It also included assessing the methods and cost of creating and delivering each opportunity area of the business, the risks and potential income that could be generated
A report for the client’s board, which clearly set out the opportunities and challenges of increasing industry efficiency and productivity, relating to the three business operational areas, the costs and possible income which could be generated, to help inform their decision-making, to drive the organisation forward.
“We have gained valuable insight into future opportunities for our industry through our partnership with Robin, and we look forward to maintaining and enhancing our relationship going forward.
We would be happy to recommend him for similar projects with other clients, and we have every confidence in his technical and professional skills and abilities. At all times he was a pleasure to work with.”
Client name: Confidential
The brief was to submit a grant application, working closely with a farm-owning family. The grant was to support the creation of a new retail space in a restored and converted barn situated next to a thriving farm shop.
This included undertaking research to identify the most suitable grant and preparing and submitting the application. A fully costed budget was prepared for the application highlighting cashflow and profitability over the first three years of retail space. Quotes were also submitted for the project which demonstrated best value for money and comprehensive answers to questions raised by the appraisers were submitted.
A full grant of £154,000 from the RDPE Growth Programme was awarded to the project, which is now under construction.
“Richard was extremely helpful with the grant application, helping us through all the processes. He was very patient with the bureaucracy and kept us to time. We wouldn’t have made it without him.”
Client name: Confidential
The brief was to secure funding from Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) to manage wild deer, land and woodland in the East of England.
The Deer Initiative is dedicated to ensuring the delivery of a sustainable, well-managed wild deer population in England and Wales.
A full application and business plan was developed, which focussed on the sustainable management of wild deer across almost 69,000 hectares, through an innovative, integrated approach.
This approach was to manage land and woodland through the culling of wild deer and create a new supply chain to sell wild venison, initially, through local food retailers in the East of England, with a longer term view to sell wild venison to overseas markets.
More than £1 million was secured which funded a range of activities including creating new processing plants for culled deer in areas where wild deer are most commonly found and marketing the wild venison.
47 businesses involved in storage, transportation, equipment and processing were directly supported through this investment, which also created the equivalent of 9 full-time jobs and increased sales of wild venison through the local food retailers by 233%.
“The project was developed using local knowledge and Emma’s range of experience in previous European and local funded projects.
Emma’s enthusiasm for rural business and supporting local people helped me to ‘keep at it’ and to make the project work for us. Emma worked tirelessly through the project development stage to give us what we needed, and then throughout the project was able to support us and to keep us on track with the boundaries laid down by East of England Development Agency. We would work with Emma again.”
Client name: The Deer Initiative
The brief was to evaluate the economic contribution that the Harwich Mayflower is likely to make to the local economy.
The Harwich Mayflower Project is building a seaworthy replica sister ship of the iconic Mayflower which took the Founding Fathers to America in 1620. The ship which will be built in Harwich will participate in the 400th Anniversary
The economic information was required to support funding applications.
The delivery included an appraisal of the direct and indirect economic and employment impacts likely to occur both as a direct result of the new tourism venture on a local and regional levels.
A report looking at the impacts of both the development stage and the operation stage, including the gross direct and indirect annual impacts as well as the net annual impacts of the new development.
All impacts were assessed in relation to their influence at a local and regional level.
“Destination Research carried out the work on time, efficiently and with professionalism.”
Client name: Lynda Chase-Gardener, Chair, Mayflower Project