The diversification plans of an eco farm in Buckinghamshire came to fruition after a £23,000 LEADER grant helped to build a cattery that will take the whole farm into profit.
Solar-powered Abbotts View Farm produces rare breed free range meats and various products manufactured from their sheep and alpacas. Fluctuating prices make this a volatile industry and the Dell family who run the farm knew that they needed an additional revenue source.
“We identified a real need for a cattery in the area, particularly within the luxury market,” said James Dell, Farmer and Partner at Abbotts View Farm. “Many of our visitors are animal lovers and own cats, so we knew that a cattery would perfectly compliment our existing customer base and their needs, while also attracting new visitors to the farm."
“The cattery will generate revenue for us very quickly and will take the whole farm into profit for the first time, enabling us to keep farming and expanding by creating at least one new job, with more potentially to come."
“Very simply, without the LEADER grant this project would not have gone ahead and no jobs would have been created.”
James expects to see the boost in visitor numbers lead to an increase in sales of their meats and products, meaning the core business gets a boost thanks to the addition of the cattery.
Will Dallimore, LEADER Programme Manager, said: “This is a great example of what LEADER grants can support: a micro business’s ambitions of farm diversification and job creation. With the cattery meeting a local need and bringing extra visitors to the farm, I’m delighted that LEADER could help James complete this project with a grant of £23,000.”