HEREFORDSHIRE Rural Hub has secured funding from the Prince’s Countryside Fund to support and enable the delivery of a three year programme to provide bespoke support to 12 county family farming businesses with the aim of helping them to achieve long-term viability.

Cathy Meredith, from the hub, said this is one of the most exciting projects they have been involved with.

"We are delighted that the three year programme of funding will give us such an opportunity to support the chosen farming businesses to be in a better place to deal with the challenges of farming up to and beyond 2020,” she added.

"It is vital that family farming business are equipped to meet emerging challenges and have a future beyond the changes that Brexit will inevitably bring after 2020."

Research carried out by the NFU on Herefordshire Council’s smallholdings estate indicates that a typical 100 acre holding works with 32 local suppliers annually, demonstrating that viable and profitable family farms contribute significantly to the county’s economy and community.

The Prince’s Countryside Fund project will aim to initially engage with the target group and then provide the support and encouragement needed for members of the participating farming families to be able make the necessary changes and improve their skill set.

It will be run alongside a newly set-up mentoring programme and an existing training programme which will ensure that there will be a complete package of support.

Herefordshire Rural Hub is a business support organisation that carries out activities to promote economic, social and environmental improvements in land based and rural businesses within the county.

The hub has an understanding of the unique character, potential and issues of rural businesses, which means it is able to make training and knowledge transfer relevant and accessible, particularly for harder to reach farm businesses.

It also provides up to date information on events, funding opportunities and rules and regulations.