An Ashbourne-based farm has scooped a grant of more than £13,000 from Derbyshire County Council to help kick-start an ice cream business – and your company could be next.
Coldeaton Jersey Ice Cream is one of 19 Derbyshire businesses that have been awarded a share of £530,000 so far from the county council’s Peak LEADER Rural Grants Scheme for small businesses, farmers or community groups in the Derbyshire Dales and High Peak.
The new business will be based at Green House Farm in Ashbourne – a family-run business that’s been raising award-winning pedigree Jersey cows for over 35 years – headed up by farmer, John Stubbs.
A few years ago, John made the decision to semi-retire and needed someone to take over the family business. The timing was just right as his daughter Jo was reaching the end of her maternity leave from her job as a Children’s Nursery Deputy Manager.
Jo explains: “My dad wanted to ease his work load and I was reaching the end of my maternity leave so it was the perfect timing for me to step in and help run the family business.
“By having us both working on the farm it was a good time for us to look at what else we could do and that’s when we thought about making our own ice cream from milk from our award-winning Jersey cows.
“So, I started looking into loans and funding to help us get up and running and then heard about the county council’s Peak LEADER Rural Grants Scheme.
“I’ve never applied for a grant before and I didn’t know much about them but we got lots of help throughout the process” said Jo.
The business has been awarded £13,178 to help start-up Coldeaton Jersey Ice Cream and help buy range of equipment including a commercial pasteuriser, batch freezer, potting machine, specialist fridge and storage freezer.
“Derbyshire attracts a lot of tourists each year and there’s a high demand for buying produce from local businesses.
“It’s important we support other local businesses and the families that run them – people who are trying to make a living. If you support them then they will support you and we can keep local trade going” added Jo.
The business is hoping to sell their ice cream wholesale to local grocery shops, petrol stations, camp sites, hotels and restaurants.
And they’ve bought an ice cream cart which can be hired out for parties and weddings and one day hope open their own café with an education centre attached to it where people learn about farming, find out how their food is made and where it comes from.
Jo added: “We’re looking forward to be up and running in spring this year – ready for people to try our new ice cream over the summer.
“I’d definitely recommend the grants to other businesses. You do have to put quite a lot of work in to make sure you have a good business case – you’re not just going to be given the money – but it’s really worth it.”
This is the second year Derbyshire County Council has helped to distribute Peak LEADER Rural Grants to local businesses.
Businesses with projects aiming to create jobs, business growth or develop community services can now apply for grants from £2,500 to £35,000.
Grants are available to help fund farm productivity and improvement, farm diversification, micro and small business support, developing rural services, small scale culture and heritage developments and improvements, rural tourism (new small tourist attraction) and forestry improvements (woodland management).
Leader of Derbyshire County Council and Cabinet Member for Strategic Policy, Economic Development and Budget Councillor Anne Western said: “Businesses in rural areas are at the heart of their community and play a very important role in supporting the local economy and providing jobs for people living nearby.
“It’s a key priority of ours to support businesses and community groups to help them grow and develop. Last year’s scheme was very successful and we’re delighted to be able to be able to run it again this year.
“So if you’re a small business, farmer or community group in the Derbyshire Dales or High Peak, we want to hear from you.”
The county council is working with Derbyshire Economic Partnership to help distribute a £1.7m funding pot from the European Union to support rural businesses in parts of Derbyshire and Staffordshire.
To apply, visit www.derbyshireeconomicpartnership.org.uk/rural-derbyshire/leader-in-the-peak. Applications will close on Friday 31 March 2017.
For more information about the council’s Peak LEADER Rural Grants Scheme email LEADER Manager, Amanda Brown on email@example.com or call 01629 538475 or 07971314619.
Applications will be considered by the programme’s Local Action Group which is made up of representatives from the local authorities, voluntary groups, community groups and businesses within Derbyshire and Staffordshire Moorlands.
Chair of the Local Action Group Councillor Lewis Rose said: “We aim to deliver a difference by building on our successful track record of excellent partnerships and creating jobs by working with existing and new start businesses.
“We will champion and support entrepreneurial communities, ensuring that innovative ideas to improve and add to our rural services can be tested and delivered.”