Business support for Cheshire and Warrington SMEs

Delegates discussing digital marketing techniques

The RADA projects team is working with local Cheshire and Warrington SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) to grow and develop their businesses. Based on campus in The Bothy, the small project team consisting of Beth Chinn, Janet Nuzum, Lesley Innes and Annette McDonald are putting together individual and workshop based support depending on different business needs.

There are already around 40 new firms benefiting from our support via the project with room for many more going forward. Our most recent workshops on Digital Marketing have been so popular that we are currently planning our fourth series.

One business owner commented “I really enjoyed the course, it has provided me with a clearer understanding of digital marketing. I look forward to putting some of the topics covered into action.”

This summer we are rolling out a programme of bespoke assistance to graduating Reaseheath HE students who wish to start their own business following the end of their studies. There is scope for this support to be available to FE students and alumni (former students).

This project is jointly funded by the Reaseheath and the European Union’s Regional Development Fund and runs until September 2018 as part of a consortium with other colleges and universities in the region.

Case study:

One of the local small firms being helped by our Business Growth Programme within RADA is Greka foods in Nantwich.

Greka Foods

The owner tell us that “the name was born out of a love for Greece, its land and its produce. It is all about a deep rooted desire to share with our customers, our authentic family produced food – Greek sauces, jams, marmalade and spoon sweets…using recipes that have been passed on by my grandmother Sofia and re-created by my mother Georgia.”

The Business Growth Programme at Reaseheath has a particular specialism in helping small firms start to sell to other businesses and thereby grow their business and hopefully create even more jobs.

Greka foods can be found at Nantwich Indoor Market and at – well worth a look after Greka attended our Digital Marketing workshops, which they said was “very informative, challenges my thinking & understanding ”.

If you have any questions about the Business Growth Programme please do pop in to the RADA office or give us a ring on extension 3975.

Cheshire & Warrington Rural Business Funding Launch

Cheshire and Warrington businesses and organisations wishing to apply for grants from the latest and final rounds of European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) can find out more information at a Rural Funding Launch on the 24th March. The event will include an introduction from the Chair of the LEP Rural Strategy Committee and Cheshire and Warrington LEP followed by a presentation from a rural business that has previously received support for tourism or food processing.This will be followed by a presentation from the Rural Payments Agency about the national EAFRD programme and application process. Including:

  • An overview of the business development, tourism infrastructure and food & drink grants in Cheshire and Warrington,who can apply, what the grants will fund and how much funding is available.


9:30– Coffee and Reception

10:00– Welcome – Meredydd David- Chair of Cheshire and Warrington Rural Strategy Board

11:15- The Strategic Economic Plan and Growth Hub – Mark Livesey- Cheshire and Warrington LEP

11:30– Local Business Perspective on Business Support

11:45– Q&A

11:55– The Rural Payments Agency: the EAFRD programme calls in Cheshire and Warrington and the application process- Andy Tordoff & Mike Baker- Rural Payments Agency-

  • Business development grants
  • Tourism infrastructure grants
  • Food and drink processing grants

12:25– Q&A

12:30- Buffet Lunch of local produce. Following the presentations there will be a local produce lunch and time for interested businesses and stakeholders to discuss in more detail potential projects as well as networking with other interested parties.

For interested attendees there will be optional tours of the Reaseheath Food Innovation Centre which is an industry leading academy with an international reputation within the food and drink sector.

This event is jointly organised by the Cheshire & Warrington LEP and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.


To book your FREE place, please click here which will take you to an Eventbrite booking page.


If you have any questions about this event please contact Beth Chinn-, 01270 616492

Student Work Experience with the RADA team

Integrating Reaseheath students into our project work is a fundamental part of what we do through RADA, with the aim of developing the next generation of leaders in sustainable husbandry. We have had a number of projects running with students from FE and HE taking part.

Throughout December we had four students with us, supporting our projects. The Countryside students shadowed FES advisers Nicola Hall, Jane Atkinson, Rachel Price and Helen Rowley on farm visits covering a wide range of topics ranging from diffuse pollution to habitat creation.  They helped conduct farm walkovers to identify possible sources of pollution into watercourses, learnt how to take soil samples and helped inspire farmers on the benefits of habitat creation. A particularly good day was planting Black Poplar tree saplings, a nationally important tree due to its rarity.  One of the students Ella (pictured below, left) said “RADA provided me with an inspiring work placement, I loved being out on farms and have decided to pursue a career in this sector”.

Student Ella Wheeler Black Poplar Planting

Student Ella Wheeler Black Poplar Planting

FES Adviser Jane Atkinson Planting

FES Adviser Jane Atkinson Planting











We know that shared resources will be most effectively sustained through joint management. Fundamental to this principal is partnership working. Reaseheath has been working with United Utilities and the Environment Agency to improve quality of drinking water in our canals. Pesticides (especially metaldehyde) are difficult and costly to remove. Our aim is to reduce the pollution at the source by working closely with farmers and landowners in the Llangollen Canal Safeguard Zone.

Chem-Catching in the Llangollen Canal

Chem-Catching in the Llangollen Canal

Level 3 Student Will Cooper out chem-catching in the Willeymoor area

Level 3 Student Will Cooper out chem-catching in the Willeymoor area












Ensuring our students are equipped to enter into industry, ‘Food, Drink & Agricultural Group of the Chartered institute of marketing sponsored an event for third year students titled ‘Your Future in Agriculture & Food Question Time’ on the 1st December 2016. The students had the opportunity to ask the five strong panel key questions of what industry was looking for from students finishing this year. John Giles, Chair of CIM’s Food, Drink and Agricultural Group, Richard Ratcliffe, Chair of the Governors, Reaseheath College, Ed Lister, Cheshire Dairy Farmer, Helen Wainwright, NFU Cheshire County Adviser, David Slater, Regional, Business Manager, NWF Agriculture Ltd. Some of the areas covered included; “Use technology to drive the agricultural industry forward, embrace science, be innovative and never stop learning” – this was the key advice given to Reaseheath College students at a ‘question time’ discussion on careers in farming and food production. The event offered valuable advice on the opportunities available in the industry and the attributes employers look for when recruiting. Undergraduates and final year Extended Diploma in Agriculture students took the opportunity to question a panel of experienced advisers from across the supply chain.

The panel of advisers is joined by Reaseheath agriculture students

The panel of advisers is joined by Reaseheath agriculture students











Business Efficiency event

Women in Dairying, Cow Signals meeting, 11th October

Women in Dairy

Women in Dairying, Cow Signals meeting taking place at Reaseheath College on Tuesday 11th October starting at 10.30am.

David Ball from AHDB will be running a Cow Signals workshop which will provide useful information and insight on feed space, water availability, lying space, bulling behaviour etc.

Please enter the College via the Wettenhall Road (turn off A51) & following signs for parking. For SAT NAV use CW5 6DG.

Tea, coffee and biscuits will be available but please bring your own packed lunch.  Please also ensure that clean boots are worn that can be disinfected.

Meeting is kindly supported by AHDB Dairy. Can you please confirm with James Hague on 07792289386 or if you are planning on joining us

CFE Pollinator training module

The Campaign for the Farmed Environment has been running an Online Training Module for farmers and advisers enabling further training on pollinator friendly farm management.

Set to support farm advisers, farmers and landowners on how to manage land to enhance and protect habitats for pollinators the Online Training Module also allows individuals to pick up 4 BASIS points.

The train module which is based on the CFE’s, Pollinator management for your farm business guidance, tests applicants on not only the CFE voluntary measures but wider farm management practices which support pollinator friendly habitats.

Establishing pollinator friendly habitats on farm is a priority for the CFE. This is either through establishing new habitats on your land through field corners and margins or, by enhancing your greening measures or, by retaining pollinator friendly environmental features from expiring ELS agreements.

Currently over 150 individuals have taken part in the Online Training Module, with participants ranging from full time farm advisers to farmers that wish to expand their knowledge. If you are interested in environmental management on farm, want to test your existing knowledge or need further BASIS points, please don’t hesitate to participate. The training module is open to anyone and can be found on The CFE website.



Free support for startups aged -1 to 3 years

Do you want to grow your new business ?

Are you looking for free specialist support ?

If you are looking to grow, are growing, or are seeking to innovate, we have a new fully funded programme to meet your needs.

The programme is delivered at no cost to your business and is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and by Reaseheath College.

The programme is for new small businesses throughout Cheshire and Warrington.Your existing sales and your planned growth in sales can be to anywhere in the world.

Your new business can sit alongside another long-established business of yours. For example, your dairy farm business is well established; your artisan cheese business is new and you are planning to widen sales to upmarket hotels and spas.

The programme is flexible to suit your needs, being mostly a range of business workshops starting this autumn on topics such as:

  • Being your own boss
  • Sales and selling, auto-persuasion
  • Marketing including social media
  • Market research and UX (user experience)
  • Accounts and book-keeping
  • Leadership and management, your strategy and plan
  • HR in small firms – the challenging conversations
  • Access to finance.

There are terms and conditions. For more details please contact Lesley Innes, Beth Chinn or Tony Baldwinson.

AHDB Workshops September- October 2016

Dairy training for Polish staff AHDB event

Ensuring that your team understand and work to the same protocols is vital for a business to succeed, regardless of language.  This workshop will be delivered in Polish and will cover practical cow flow and handling, milking routine and protocols when calving a cow.

The Evening: Join Robert Blaszczyk from Shepton Vets to discuss;

  • How different methods of handling and cow flow affects animal physiology and behaviour
  • How safe and efficient animal handling can improve welfare and management in relation to parlour flow, TB testing, cow grouping and transportation
  • Why achieving a good routine in the parlour results in an improved work rate and hygiene figures
  • The do’s and don’ts when calving a cow

Date:               Monday 5 September 2016

Time:               18:45 to 22:00 (Beef rolls available from 18.30)

Venue:           Wimboldsley Grange, Wimboldsley, Middlewich, Cheshire CW10 0LW


Making the most of maize AHDB event

When grown and managed correctly, forage maize provides large yields of quality forage for the high-performing dairy cow.  Join AHDB Dairy and John Morgan, Creedy Associates to learn more on the latest developments in the growing and feeding of the crop

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Optimum crop quality and stage at harvest
  • Post-harvest management of stubbles and minimizing soil degradation
  • Review of the 2016 season and deciding on agronomy changes to be made for next year
  • Balancing maize and maximizing its potential in the diet                  

Date:            Monday 19 September 2016 Time:           

Time:           10.30 – 14.30 (lunch included)

Venue:         Reaseheath College, Reaseheath, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 6DF


Nutrition of the modern dairy cow AHDB event

Genetic improvement continues to drive lifetime performance of the dairy cow, but good nutrition continues to play a pivotal role in optimising this performance. In reality this means providing the dairy cow with the right nutrients, to the right place at the right time.

Two of the more costly nutrients on dairy farms are protein and minerals, both of which are often provided in excess of the animals requirements. In the best case scenario, this is an expensive use of feed on the dairy farm and may cause suboptimal animal performance. However, the worst case scenario can result in the death of the animal.

Getting the nutrition of the dairy cow right requires careful attention to detail and applying the best knowledge on farm. Join AHDB Dairy to learn about how the latest research into nutrition of the dairy cow can help optimise animal performance in your business.

Date:            Monday 3 October 2016

Time:            19.30 to 22:00 (Light refreshments available following the meeting)

Venue:         Heyrose Golf Club, Budworth Road, Tabley, Cheshire, WA16 0HZ


Leading a team to achieve excellence

Purpose: To help participants realise the importance of effective communication within their businesses by creating a communication action plan which can be used to manage and develop performance.

Who should attend?  Suitable for anyone who manages a team.

Aims:  • To identify the usual method of communication and how that can be seen by others • To recognise that others may communicate in different ways and the most effective ways of communicating with them • Learning the rules of Active Listening and how to ask open questions • The usefulness of business meetings and how to conduct them/good governance • The use of technology in aiding effective communication.

The meeting is delivered by Siân Bushell (Siân Bushell Associates) in a very interactive style.  This approach will provide an opportunity for participants to discuss and share their experiences.

Date:            Thursday 6 October (South Lancashire – 10.30 – 14.30 / Cheshire – 19.00 – 22.00)

Venues:       TBC

To find out more or book a place at any of these meetings please contact James Hague on 07792 289 386 or

Take action for pollinators on your farm to benefit your business!

When: Tuesday 26th July 12.30pm for lunch (for 1pm start) —3.30pm

Where: Olivers Farm, Broad Lane, Great Altcar, Liverpool, L37 5AL (by kind permission of Mr E. Orritt)

Pollinators are vital for a thriving farm business. However these precious insects are under threat. The good news is that we can do something about it with a few simple management changes, and if you are currently considering your options for future Countryside Stewardship agreements on your farm, including measures for wild pollinators and wildlife could help your application.

Come along to this FREE event to find out what you can do practically on your farm.

Speakers include:

  • Clive Wood (Kings Seeds) – successful establishment and management of wildflower & pollen and nectar seed mixes
  • Michael Graham (Natural England) – the new Countryside Stewardship Scheme and what to include in your application
  • Michelle Fare (CFE) – management of farm hedgerows as a habitat for birds and pollinators
  • Ben Hargreaves (Lancashire Wildlife Trust) – Plan Bee project

To book: or call the CFE National Event booking line on 02476 858 897.

To speak to your regional CFE adviser (Michelle Fare) specifically about the event, please call 07867 907939