Farmers, landowners, rural accommodation businesses, food producers and shooting and horse-riding providers in South West England could access investment funds of between £200 and £1,000 to develop their country sports facilities and boost business.
The funding will come from Country Sports South West, a £1.6 million tourism project which is being delivered by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and the Westcountry Rivers Trust (WRT). The project aims to help businesses reach country sports visitors, raise quality and assist with development to create a premier country sports destination in South West England.
The project has so far invested in the installation of gun cabinets for accommodation businesses, chiller cabinets, clay pigeon traps, butchery equipment for game producers, the organisation of specialist advisory visits and much more.
Businesses can suggest alternative ways in which investment funds could enhance their country sports business. Support is also available for businesses or landowners which are looking to start out or diversify into the country sports sector.
The investment funds will be made available until January 2014 (subject to demand) and will cover a maximum of half of the total cost, which the business must match. The Country Sports South West project is one of six South West Rural Development Programmes for England (RDPE), which aim to create sustainable farming, forestry and food sectors, while bringing wider benefits for the economy, the environment and rural communities.
Annette Cole, senior Country Sports South West manager, said: “By offering smaller investment funds we are able to help a lot more businesses throughout the region and enable them to further develop their facilities in the country sports sector. These businesses will not only benefit from the investment funds but they will also receive tailored development advice from our officers and benefit from being engaged with the project and the targeting of country sports visitors to the region.”