The owners of Parslow Apiaries have told how their “amazing” LEADER grant “couldn’t have worked out better” and has more than paid off for them in the years since they received it.

Father and son team John and Barry Parslow benefited from £34,000 of LEADER funding in 2009 and this has helped them through the ups and downs of the bee-keeping sector ever since.

The grant initially helped them build new extraction and bottling sheds, as well as improved storage units. With 300 hives producing around 10 tonnes of honey each year, these new metal storage units have helped Parslow Apiaries to increase their productivity and efficiency over the years.

John Parslow said: “Bottling honey is a fairly precise science. We were extracting, pasteurising and bottling in cramped facilities – the sheds would get so hot in the summer that we could only work at 5am or after 7pm. It served us well for many years but we just needed better premises.”

Barry Parslow added: “If not for the LEADER grant I don’t think we would have gone for these new premises. Receiving this money made our minds up for us.” 

Luke Faulkner, LEADER Programme Manager said: “This was a great project and a really good use of the LEADER grant. The new buildings have allowed Parslow Apiaries to expand with more hives and, when the weather allows, for more honey production. We were delighted to see the LEADER grant so well used and would now like to hear from other rural business owners who have been inspired by this tale to get in touch and begin their own journey to a grant.”

LEADER is targeting rural businesses with grants of up to £100,000 available for eligible projects. Over £5 million will be available between now and 2020 in the Chilterns, Clay Vales and North & West Northamptonshire areas.

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