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.

AGENDA

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.

Booking

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

Enquiries

If you have any questions about this event please contact Beth Chinn- bethc@reaseheath.ac.uk, 01270 616492

STEM enrichment events – contact us for dates

STEM enrichment events are available for full or half day sessions between now and the end of term, please contact us for availability of when we can come into your school. Events will also be available for the new academic year.

Topics covered:

  • Animal morphology and co-evolution – find out why animals are designed the way they are. What drove them to be this way- finding food? Finding mates? Avoiding predators? This session looks into animal physiology with relation to their behaviour and how species have evolved to exist and exploit each other. Linking ecology, evolution and anatomy and physiology in a practical and interactive way
  • Plant cloning and propagation – find out how to reproduce plants from cells in micro propagation. The session will look at how plants have adapted to be able to reproduce asexually
  • Primitive technologies (experimental archaeology) – experimental archaeology is a field of study which generates and tests archaeological hypotheses. This is achieved by replicating archaeological artefacts, or utilising primitive technologies that ancient cultures may have undertaken. By employing primitive technologies we gain a greater understanding of the lives of our ancestors, the environments in which they lived and the ancient skills that they possessed. The demonstration will include; drilling through stone with flint and making cord from tree bark

Bespoke courses can be arranged on your choice of topic. For further details and to check availability please contract Tracey Walker – call 01270 613180 or email traceyw@reaseheath.ac.uk

Reaseheath praised for innovative online store

The Reaseheath Online Store has been commended for its quality and innovation by being awarded the WPM ‘Most Innovative Use of the Online Store Award’ at its recent annual user conference. The award comes less than two years since Reaseheath introduced the online store function to the college and recognises the success it is bringing for both Reaseheath staff and students.

This fantastic achievement is due to the college wide support of the store by all departments.

In less than two years the annual use of the online store and payment gateways has gone from £0 to £500k in year one, to over £1 million in year two. The benefits for our customers are huge, with the system being easy to use and available 24/7 making it a simple and convenient way to make payments.

WPM are the largest supplier of online store/payment gateways within the education sector, working with over 170 HE and FE clients, approximately 2 million students in the UK and process around £4 million transactions with a value over £2 billion annually.

This award recognises outstanding examples of innovation across the sector specifically within the Online Store. Whilst every institution has typically found ways of adapting the functionality to cater for, and typically improve, their service offering and efficiency, the award is aimed at those which really stand out from the crowd and are worth highlighting and rewarding.

Reaseheath was recognised has having a varied and interesting online store ranging from automotive repair to student events. The inclusion of a parent guide and the success of selling over 90% of the summer ball tickets online and the majority outside of normal college working hours. It was also recognised that the college is working hard to drive staff and student engagement with the Online Store.

Reaseheath’s Head of Finance, Stuart Cooper, commented: “This award is recognition for all the hard work and dedication by everyone involved in the online store from its implementation to day to day running.  It’s been a successful journey so far and we intend to build on this success by continually looking for ways we can improve the online store with customer experience being a key driver.“

 

Cheshire Grassland Society Summer Tour 2016

Tuesday 28th and Wednesday 29th June

The M6 Corridor – Cumbria

A tour of exceptional, interesting and diverse farms including James Robinson and Robert Craig who spoke at the February and March meetings.

Cost £160 per person sharing a room. £15 supplement for a single room.

Price includes lunch on both days and two evening meals.

DAY1

Depart from Reaseheath College at 7.00am – Breakfast on route.

James Robinson – Strickley Farm, Kendal. James and his family run a 275 acre organic dairy farm, milking 130 pedigree shorthorns plus 130 young stock. They are very forage driven, with over 3000 litres of the 7000 litre herd average coming from forage. They have been fully organic for 7 years. James is the 5th generation of Robinsons to farm at Strickley.

Chris Addison – Greystone House, Kings Meaburn, Penrith. Chris has farmed organically for eight years. The farm extends to some 450 acres. Stock include 150 dairy cows, predominantly Montbeliarde, Swedish Red and Fleckvieh. These are grazed using New Zealand methods. They have an average yield of 7000 litres. They also have 200 pedigree Simmental beef cattle and also have store lambs from September to February. Some cereals are grown for use as home feed. The farm is in HLS and also has a biomas unit.

Stephen and Claire Bland – Abbot Lodge, Clifton, Penrith. The Bland’s run a very successful and renowned ice cream farm and shop selling over 30,000 scoops a year from 40 different flavours. The milk is supplied from their own pedigree herd of 250 Jersey cows on the 230 acre tenanted farm. The herd averages 6,500 litres at 5.4 per cent butterfat and 3.9 percent protein. Stephen and Claire took on the tenancy of the farm in 2000 and since then have developed the on farm tea rooms and also made some significant changes including a new parlour and have also restored 7000 metres of hedgerow.

Evening Accommodation at The Best Western Shapwells Hotel – Situated in a secluded, wooded valley, high in the Shap Fells and surrounded by mountain streams yet only minutes from the M6. The rooms have breath taking views of the surrounding countryside and fells, offering a true taste of the English countryside. Website – www.shapwells.com

DAY2

Andrew and Margaret Smith – Cotehill Farm, Brampton, Carlisle.

The Smiths are first generation Dairy farmers. Since 2002 they have developed a contract farming agreement with Castlehead Estates. They run 430 cows plus followers on a Spring calving grazing system. They aim to have cows at grass for 300 days of the year. Andrew and Margaret will demonstrate how they operate their system in one of the wettest parts of the country.

Robert Craig – Cairnhead Farm, Ainstable, Carlisle

Robert’s home farm consists of 180ha with 400 spring calving cows and followers. Robert has grown this business from a traditional dairy farm with 80 cows and sheep to an intensive grazing system today. The farm is managed day to day by George Brown an up and coming young manager, who we will be meeting on the day.

Robert Craig and Steve Brandon – Dolphenby Farm, Edenhall, Penrith

Robert and Steve operate a joint venture on the tenanted Dophenby Farm in the Eden Valley. The 700 acre unit has 600 cows and followers and has recently been converted into a superbly managed, highly efficient New Zealand style spring calving grazing system, with new cows tracks a new milking parlour and associated facilities.

A meal on the way home at the Tickled Trout Hotel – Junction 31 of the M6.

For more information and/or to book a place please contact;

Mark Bowes (Chairman) 07767778680 or judith.bowes@btinternet.com

Will Gill (Vice Chairman) 07780578069 or will@grasslands-uk.com

Please make cheques payable to Cheshire Grassland Society and send with the completed form to the address below no later than Friday 8th April to secure your place.

Will Gill

50 Byron Walk

Nantwich

Cheshire

CW5 5UT

FOR INFORMATION ON THE CGS SPRING WALK CLICK HERE

CGS

Top marks for Reaseheath at Skills North West

Reaseheath College’s action packed exhibition was awarded ‘Best Interactive Stand’ at last week’s Skills North West event.

Reaseheath florists share their skills with visitors on the Spotlight Stage at Skills North West

Reaseheath florists share their skills with visitors on the Spotlight Stage at Skills North West

The college took top honours after judges gave it full marks for the enthusiasm of its staff and students and the diversity of ‘have a go’ activities it offered visitors. School groups from across the region enjoyed activities including riding the college’s mechanical horse, making jewellery from flowers, dissecting a rat (plastic!) and talking to stick insects.

Food students demonstrate chocolate making at Skills North West

Food students demonstrate chocolate making at Skills North West

Visitors also had the chance to taste chocolate prepared by our patisserie and bakery students and take part in interactive construction related games.

Throughout the two day showcase event staff and students from our food, floristry and animal management departments made several appearances on the ‘Spotlight Stage’, where they wowed visitors with live demonstrations and specialist talks.

Marketing Team Leader Stephanie Owen said: “This was a fantastic showcase for the college, particularly as for many of the schools who attended, this was the first time they had heard of Reaseheath.

“It was brilliant to see the enthusiasm from our staff and students who worked so hard to ensure the success of the event. Organisers were so impressed they have offered us extra exhibition space next year!”

 

Spotlight on FdSc Bakery and Patisserie Technology student Sharn Byng

Ambition: New product developer

Lives: Leek

Age: 29

Sharn Byng working on her latest chocolate creation

Sharn Byng working on her latest chocolate creation

After working in the quality department of a food factory, Sharn was tempted by our new degree for bakery professionals and decided to change direction.

Despite previously specialising in dairy products, the mother-of-one is enjoying the chance to develop her artistic skills and is relishing learning about chocolate and surgarwork, a popular module in our professional bakery degree.

Sharn is no stranger to our food centre – she studied short, industry focused courses on food safety and food science with us as part of her previous job. She so enjoyed the experience that she returned on a full-time course as soon as opportunity arose.

She’s now well into her first year and is looking forward to work experience during her second year. After that she’s considering of topping up to a full BSc degree with a further year of study.

Putting the final touches to a cacao tree she made from chocolate with fellow student Sharnie Marsden, Sharn says: “This course will open so many doors for me, hopefully in the product development department of a major company. The whole course has been so interesting and I’ve done things in the food industry that I would never have considered before.”