14.02.2012 0 Comments

BBC takes an interest in rural businesses

BBC takes an interest in rural businesses

On Tuesday Ngage’s dedicated Leader Project team members Nick Philips and Lucy Sawbridge ventured out in the snow to meet Nikki Mitchell of BBC Oxford. Deep in mud, snow, bees and piglets Nikki reported on the cut and thrust of rural Bucks Businesses.

Small rural businesses in Buckinghamshire, like most businesses in the country, are facing challenging times yet there are many businesses that are investing and expanding even in a small way. Two of these are Parslow Honey and The Black Pig, Chiltern Hills (AKA Berkshire Pig co). Both businesses have recently received a business grant from the LEADER programme for Bucks and have been able to buy new equipment, increase marketing and increase sales and production.

“It is great to see rural businesses expanding even during these difficult times. I felt that the viewers would be interested in rural businesses and the grants that are available. These people are clearly passionate about their businesses.” said Nikki of BBC Oxford.

Bruce Garside of Black Pig Chiltern Hills, who used his LEADER grant to purchase a new van and 5 hog roasting machines, very proudly told Nikki of the busy order book that he was filling having built up an excellent reputation. Most of his machines are already booked out for the Jubilee weekend!

“Berkshire pigs are an old English breed. They have such great personalities and are exceptionally tasty. Pig farming has been in our family for three generations.” Bruce’s pigs are free range and are grazed in woods in the Chilterns.

Nikki then met Barry Parslow of Parslow apiaries, a local honey producer whose LEADER grant contributed towards new workshops and equipment.

“We just have to expand if we want to take on more staff.” said Barry. “The grant has helped us get on to a new level. All we need now is the support of the right weather.” He said looking at the snow falling.  Later during Nikkis filming the sun came out and the bees immediately came to life.

The report was broadcast after the BBC 6 o’clock news on BBC Oxford covering Aylesbury Vale and west Buckinghamshire on Friday 10th February 2012.

LEADER is a European rural grant that is available to farmers and rural businesses in the Chilterns. The grant is focused on micro businesses who wish to expand or purchase capital equipment. Each award can be up to £50,000 and is match funded by 50% by the business owner.

Nick Philips is Ngage’s LEADER Project Manager

For more information on LEADER grants call Nick Phillips 01494 568 969 or visit the LEADER website at http://www.leader-programme.org.uk