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https://defrafarming.blog.gov.uk/2022/11/24/new-entrant-support-scheme-apply-for-the-pilot/

New Entrant Support Scheme: apply for the pilot

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Farmers, Things we're doing, Ways to get involved
Landscape with mist
Alison Day

We want to better support those who want to enter farming and develop land-based businesses.

In June, we shared how landowners, estate managers, a range of organisations and recent new entrants were helping us to shape our approach.

Through the New Entrant Support Scheme, we want to nurture entrepreneurs to develop their business ideas, foster innovation and promote growth. 

Testing the idea of incubation

One idea that we said we were keen to test through a pilot was incubation: providing tactical support to young businesses through the early stages of development.

We put out a call for proposals from organisations to lead these pilot projects.

The bids we received over the summer were impressive. We evaluated them all and, after careful consideration, we’ve now appointed pilot leads.  

Now that we have our pilot leads, you can apply to take part in the pilot. 

The pilot will provide tactical support to young businesses through the early stages of development, nurturing entrepreneurs to further develop a business idea, encouraging innovation and growth. You'll be supported to pitch for the land and finance you need. 

In this post, I’ll share details of the successful pilot leads and more information about the pilot.

Eligibility 

The pilot is available to: 

  • individuals with some farming experience, but not their own land-based business 
  • individuals with 4 to 10 years’ experience running a land-based farming business 

We want to recruit about 200 pilot participants in total. If you are thinking about starting a land-based business or scaling up your existing business, the pilot might be for you. 

The pilot is not just for arable or animal farming businesses. It also includes horticulture, agro-forestry and environmental service businesses, such as providing livestock for arable farms as part of an agroecology system.  

The big challenge is to develop business models that will be successful and resilient in the future. They may well not look like those of the past.  

If you gain a place on the pilot, you will also be able to take part in any of our other farming schemes if you're eligible.

How the pilot will work 

People will start to be recruited into the pilot in December. The pilot will run until spring 2023. 

Pilot activities will take place in the evenings and on weekends, they can be carried out online at a time that works for you. There is no cost to participants.

How to apply 

You can apply to take part now. To apply, please contact the relevant pilot organisation by following the links below. 

The New Entrant Support Scheme will cover the whole of England. At the pilot stage, however, there are some restrictions on locations as you'll see below.

Project type  Region  Pilot lead 
Rural land-based opportunities  West Midlands  Harper Adams University 
South-west  School for Social Entrepreneurs 
Peri-urban land-based opportunities  North-east  School for Social Entrepreneurs 
South-west  The Landworkers' Alliance 
South-east  Shared Assets

The pilot leads have their own deadlines.

You might also want to engage with these pilot projects as a potential mentor, demonstrator of innovative business models or as a landowner looking to work with new entrants.

If so, please follow the same links above to register your interest with the pilot leads. 

Next steps 

These pilot projects are just the start. We will use our findings from them to inform the full New Entrant Support Scheme, which we will continue to develop next year. 

Please subscribe to the Future Farming blog to receive updates on the scheme. If you have any questions about our approach, leave a comment below. 

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6 comments

  1. Comment by Alice Lewthwaite posted on

    The links in the regional websites to register for different elements try to take you to Google docs that it won't let you access. I have looked on SW region and SE and seems to be the same.

    Reply
    • Replies to Alice Lewthwaite>

      Comment by The Team posted on

      Hi Alice,

      Thanks for letting us know. We asked the Landworkers' Alliance to fix those links. They should now work.

      Best wishes,
      The Team

      Reply
  2. Comment by Darren Lloyd posted on

    Are there going to be any opportunities for those of us based in Cheshire?

    Reply
    • Replies to Darren Lloyd>

      Comment by The Team posted on

      Hi Darren,

      The pilots are limited to the areas listed in the post, but the final scheme will be England-wide.

      Best wishes,
      The Team

      Reply
  3. Comment by Tom Allen-Stevens posted on

    Really encouraging to see this and good that new entrants will get access to good, qualified advice. But farmer-to-farmer learning is tried and trusted as one of the best routes to business success. What encouragement will there be for farmer-led groups to bring in new entrants?

    Reply
    • Replies to Tom Allen-Stevens>

      Comment by Sarah Stewart posted on

      Hi Tom,

      Thanks for visiting the blog. We agree. Farmer-to-farmer learning is incredibly valuable.

      Beyond the pilot, supporting new entrants is something we're addressing through stakeholder engagement. I've passed on your comment to Manjeet Kumari-Lal, our Head of Engagement, who welcomes any discussion to help us achieve this. Can I pass on your email address to her?

      Best wishes,
      Sarah

      Reply

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