£10,000 grant boost for Market Drayton community farm
A community-owned farm in Market Drayton is celebrating the award of £10,000 in grant funding to help improve the business side of the operation.
Fordhall Organic Farm will benefit from the ‘match trading’ grant from the Community Business Trade Up Programme, and the money will be put to use at the farm’s new hay bale bunkhouse.
Charlotte Hollins, whose family has owned the farm for generations, is the manager of the Fordhall Community Land Initiative which runs the farm. She was one of 80 people from across England to have successfully applied for a learning programme with the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE), which also saw the initiative bag the £10,000 in funding.
Match trading is a new type of funding for socially-led organisations. It matches an increase in sales pound-for-pound, incentivising social entrepreneurs to find ways to earn more money.
The farm will receive £2,000 soon, then the rest of the money at intervals, conditional on re-investing money and building up the farm’s trade.
Mrs Hollins said the grant funding would be used on marketing, and on utilising the new bunkhouse, completed earlier this year, for functions including yoga retreats and education programmes.
She said: “All the money will be recycled back into using the farm for the community.”
Mrs Hollins will soon take part in a nine-month learning programme at the SSE to help develop skills to tackle societal problems.The programme is run by the School for Social Entrepreneurs in partnership with Power to Change.
“I am delighted to have been accepted onto the Community Business Trade Up Programme," she said. "I am looking forward to meeting other community businesses to help grow and develop the wonderful asset we have at Fordhall.”
Alastair Wilson, CEO of the SSE, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Charlotte onto the programme.”