Saint & Co’s Whitehaven Office participate in a school’s careers day

Whitehaven & Millom Office's Accounts Senior, Sarah Shaw at Millom School's Careers Day
Whitehaven & Millom Office’s Accounts Senior, Sarah Shaw at Millom School’s Careers Day

Our Whitehaven Office attended and participated in a careers day for the students at Millom School.  Accounts Senior, Sarah Shaw represented Saint & Co and reports on her day at the school: “The morning session consisted of mock interviews for the Year 11 students. As this was mostly likely their first ever interview, the students were understandably nervous but all came dressed to impress. All the students I ‘interviewed’ were well prepared and had a good idea of what they wanted to do after finishing school. I was impressed by their confidence, by what they had to say and the exciting things they had done both inside and outside of school.

The afternoon involved a careers fayre which was well attended by businesses from the local area. There were stands from BAE Systems, Sellafield, Kimberly Clark, Furness College and the Army, to name a few. Pupils from Year 8 all the way up to Year 13 attended the event and parents were invited after the school had closed. There was a good response from pupils, a lot wanting to know what we did and what opportunities were available in accountancy. I spoke to the students about the AAT and ACCA qualifications and the different routes to getting started in the accountancy profession. By the end of the day there wasn’t a lot left on the Saint & Co stand which definitely reflected the level of interest we had.  I left with a croaky voice from all the talking but feeling encouraged by the students’ response and enthusiasm!”

 

The History of Saint & Co. – Part Five

From industrial Haltwhistle to prosperous Carlisle: John Jackson Saint’s early years.

John Jackson Saint was an ambitious and enterprising 23-year-old when he established a pioneering new business in Carlisle in the late 19th century.

His qualification as a chartered accountant in 1884 coincided with a series of wholesale changes to the bankruptcy laws, which inevitably led to a high demand for his expertise.

Within a few short years J.Jackson Saint & Co became one of the first chartered accountancy firms in Carlisle and it quickly established a formidable reputation.

Entrepreneurial SpiritThe History of Saint & Co. - Part Five

Mr Saint’s entrepreneurial spirit would have come as no surprise to his family back in Haltwhistle, a small industrial town some 25 miles east of the Border City. It was in his blood. His ancestors were credited with establishing a woollen industry in the town in 1749, a trade they were involved in until the turn of the 20th century.

And in the boom years that followed the arrival of the railway line in Haltwhistle, John Jackson’s father, Joseph Saint, was among those who led the town’s industrial revolution. A well-known businessman, Joseph ran a local woollen mill with two of his elder sons, William Oliver Saint and Joseph Saint junior.

By 1861 – the year his youngest son was born – he employed 13 men, four girls and four boys at the mill and dye-house at Town Foot. It is likely to have been strenuous, tiring and dirty work, made worse by the conditions of the decaying mill.

In a letter to his landlord in 1837, Joseph Saint, who was then 43, appealed for help in restoring the structure. He wrote:

“…the building would not have been tenable this forty years or more had we not repaired it ourselves, the roof of the dyehouse has fallen in this spring and the Mill and Mill house is in a bad state almost dangerous for men to work in…”

Arsenic & Gossip

A leading member of the local Methodist church, Joseph was apparently a kind-hearted, God-fearing man but, in 1849, he became embroiled in a scandal which culminated in a notorious murder trial.The History of Saint & Co. - Part Five

When a local woman, Christina Hornsby, 26, was accused of poisoning her husband, William, with arsenic, the jury at her trial was told of rumours of her affair with the churchman. Neighbours told how they spotted the 55-year-old devout Methodist leaving the married woman’s home late in the evening, while her husband worked away.

Their sightings sparked idle gossip, despite the fact that the Hornsbys lived with Joseph’s widowed sister-in-law, to whom he was a frequent visitor. Under oath, each of them swore they did nothing more risqué than pray together.

According to The Newcastle Guardian on August 4 1849, the defence solicitor said:

“…Those who got up this prosecution had searched in vain for a motive and because they couldn’t find one had endeavoured to cast suspicion on Joseph Saint…They sought to pull down a man who is an honour to the neighbourhood in which he lives, a member of a people which have done as much good, if not more than any other religionists – he meant the bold, intrepid, faithful, zealous body called the Wesleyan Methodists…”

Mrs Hornsby was found not guilty of murder.

Leaving Haltwhistle

John Jackson Saint was barely 10-years-old when his father died, aged 77, in 1871. In an early sign that wool trade profits were falling, he left just £20 to his widow, Ann.

Over the decade that followed, his elder brothers continued to produce wool in Haltwhistle but by the 1880s, there are further signals that the business was in trouble.

It must have become clear to John Jackson that there was no future in the family business for an ambitious young man like himself. Although he started his working life as a draughtsman in his hometown, he was part of an exodus from Haltwhistle in the late 19th century.

In the same year that he established his accountancy firm in Carlisle, his brothers formally dissolved their working partnership at the woollen mill.

While his siblings Joseph and James moved away from the area and apparently led comfortable lives, it appears that the only brother who stuck with the woollen mill died penniless.

William Saint and his son Joseph were still living and working at the mill in 1891, though it was advertised for sale in The Southern Reporter in the same year.

Within three years William was dead; his wife Isabella followed shortly afterwards, yet there is no record that either of them left a will. By 1901 their son was living many miles away in Blyth, Northumberland, where he boarded with another family. He died in 1906.

It may never be known whether it was luck or good judgement which took John Jackson Saint from the declining woollen mill industry in Haltwhistle to the relatively unchartered territory of accountancy. Either way, his background in this Northumberland market town stood him in good stead for the next chapter.

Must own 5% of ordinary shares for capital gains tax entrepreneurs relief

In order for a shareholder to qualify for capital gains tax (CGT) entrepreneurs relief on the disposal of their shares, they must be an officer or employee of the company (or group) and hold 5% or more of the company’s ordinary share capital and voting rights for 12 months prior to the disposal. The company must also be a trading company or the holding company of a trading group throughout the same 12 month period.

In a recent tax case, the judge agreed with HM Revenue and Customs that in determining whether or not the shareholders held the required 5% of the ordinary share capital, all of the company’s shares should be considered except those with a fixed rate of dividend (preference shares). A lower court had previously decided that shares with no entitlement to dividends and voting rights could be disregarded.

When is a company van not a van?

van

The P11d benefits on company vans are generally much lower than company cars and where private use of the van is merely incidental to its business use by the employee, then there is no taxable benefit at all. But when is a van not a van?

In a recent tax tribunal case, the judge agreed that a VW Kombi van that had been converted so that it had two rows of seats for passengers was a company car not a van.

Under the employee benefit rules, a van is a vehicle where its primary construction is for the conveyance of goods or burden.  Kombi vans and those similar have not previously been thought to fall into this category due to them being designed to carry both goods and people. Historically, HM Revenue and Customs has offered a concession from 2002/2003 onwards for vehicles of a very similar construction, double cab pickups (including both uncovered and covered models), if the payload capacity of the pickup exceeds a metric tonne. HM Revenue and Customs accepts that these vehicles can be treated as a van for benefit in kind purposes.  The judge decided that the primary construction of the Kombi van was not for the conveyance of goods alone but rather that its purpose was for the conveyance of both goods and people equally. This means that the Kombi did not meet the requirement to be considered to be a van and therefore for benefit in kind purposes it was a car. The same judge however decided that Vauxhall Vivaro vans converted so that they had two rows of seats were vans!

Similar rules apply for VAT purposes so contact us first if you want to check the correct tax treatment of the vehicle you are planning to buy.

The History of Saint & Co. – Part Four

The History of Saint & Co. - Part Four

Duty and Opportunity: J.Jackson Saint & Co during the Second World War.

When Britain became embroiled in the war against the Nazis in September 1939, Saints once again lost its best and fittest men to the battlegrounds in mainland Europe and across the world.

It was a difficult time for the firm, and for senior partner John Boustead Saint. Two of his best chartered accountants, Walter Paton and William (Bill) Charles, left for the frontline and, in January 1940, he lost his brother and business partner, Roland, to appendicitis.

Despite the vacant offices at 22 Lowther Street, there was still work to be done. It was the perfect environment for ambitious young office boys like Andrew Grainger and Les Robson to seize opportunities for which they might otherwise have been overlooked.

Mr Robson was just 15 and a top student at Gregg College in Carlisle when he was selected to take up a job at Saints in 1940. Mr Grainger followed three years later when, after a post at the Midland Bank fell through, he simply walked into Saints’ office and asked for a job. He was interviewed immediately and he started work the following Monday, earning 37.5p a week.

From Clerks to Fire-watchers

Within months, Mr Grainger was promoted from office boy to junior audit clerk. It was a job that took the inexperienced teenager to work in Dumfries, the Lake District and even Manchester. But he did not escape the horrors of war.The History of Saint & Co. - Part Four

“I remember going to Manchester every month with the managing clerk because we had an interest in the Deansgate Hotel, which had been blitzed. The hotel itself was just a shell, just girders and things. One day we were there they found the remains of one of the victims on the girders.”

In September 1940 a law was passed requiring businesses to appoint employees to watch for incendiary bombs outwith office hours.

At J.Jackson Saint & Co, both Mr Grainger and Mr Robson were made “fire-watchers”. They were expected to sleep on collapsible beds in the boardroom, from where they would make regular checks on the roof of the building. Armed with just a stirrup pump and a bucket, they were charged with extinguishing any fire caused by the German bombs.

Busy and Bustling

At least 30 people were employed in the three-storey Lowther Street building in 1940. It was a busy and bustling office, with strict rules on timekeeping and good behaviour. John Saint worked from an office on the ground floor, where he smoked Richmond Gem cigarettes and from which he rarely ventured.The History of Saint & Co. - Part Four

“I used to go into his office and he’d have a cigarette in his fingers as well as one burning away in his ashtray,” said Mr Grainger.

Herbert Rigg would occasionally leave his first floor office, smoking his Briar pipe, to survey his employees, but it was the “bird-like” Nancy Stoddart, from Burgh-by-Sands, who kept order at J.Jackson Saint & Co.

Mr Robson said: “She was just a slip of a lass but by God, she ruled the front of the office. She was a damned good typist, but she ruled with a rod of iron.”

A Mischievous Time

The History of Saint & Co. - Part Four

Miss Stoddart may have run a tight ship but there was mischief in the air at Saints during the war years.

When interviewed, both Mr Robson and Mr Grainger had a twinkle in their eye as they recalled their years at Saints.

They shared stories that simply cannot be repeated but there are some tales that illustrate the good humour of the office during an otherwise dark period of British history.

In one instance, one of their former colleagues is rumoured to have ridden his bicycle around the large table that lived in the boardroom on the basement floor. And in another tale, Mr Grainger implicates his colleague Bill Charles, who went on to become a popular partner with the firm.

“We all had to keep a diary of what we did every day. There was a guy called Bill Temple who had had enough of Saints. The last entry in his diary was ‘playing hide and seek with Charles’. Charles became a partner after the war.”

The Laundry and The Grill

During these years, two of Saints’ main clients were The Silver Grill – one of the best restaurants in Carlisle at the time – and many of the England’s profitable laundries. These businesses were so important to the firm they each had a room dedicated to them in the Lowther Street building.

Two men worked full-time on The Silver Grill’s accounts in “The Grill Room”, while others worked on the laundries’ books in the so-called “Laundry Room” in the basement.

When Mr Robson returned from service with the Royal Navy, he took on much of the laundries’work. And in the late 1940s he was invited to work full-time for Carlisle Laundries, where he forged a good career.

But both men still had fond memories of their time at Saints.

“It was a happy office, there was no animosity. We would never have been allowed to do the job we did in normal times,” said Mr Robson.

And Mr Grainger added: “It was good fun in those days, especially having the opportunities that were thrown up. I ended up with much more experience than someone who spent five years under articles. We had quite a lot of fun in the office.”

Returning HeroesThe History of Saint & Co. - Part Four

Walter Paton returned from the war as a captain of the 242nd Armoured Division Troops Company, having spent much of his military career in Italy. Bill Charles was also made a captain during the war, probably in the Royal Armoured Service Corps.

According to Mr Robson, the pair were demobbed in 1946 and they immediately returned to Saints where they asked for partnerships. They were both made partners on the same date – April 1, 1948.

Shortly afterwards they were joined by Eric Schooling, a Londoner who had been stationed at Hadrian’s Camp during the war. When he married a local woman and set up home in Cumbria, he took a job at Saints.

Are spouses wages fully deductible?

HM Revenue and Customs have recently won a tax tribunal case where they were seeking to challenge the deduction for a wife’s wages in arriving at the profits of her husband’s business. The judge agreed with HM Revenue and Customs that the amount allowed as a deduction should be limited based on the hours spent and appropriate rate for the work done.

The general principle here is that the expense must be incurred wholly and exclusively for the purpose of the trade. Traditionally when the personal allowance was fairly low (e.g. £6,475 in 2010) it was quite easy to justify the wages paid to the spouse at around that level. However, there have been significant increases in the personal allowance in recent years to £11,500 in the current tax year and it is important that wages paid to the spouse can be justified.

Saint & Co is expanding to the following locations

Saint is expanding to the following locations

Who’s excited for the next stage of expansion for Saint & Co?

Well, if you’re a business owner who’s spending your time longing for an accountant who’s never far away, then get ready to knock on one of our shiny new doors! Whether you’re wanting to grow, or simply need assistance with your company or personal wealth, expanding for us goes beyond growing our own business. Instead, it has always been, and always will be about remaining at the heart of your business community.

It’s for this reason that we’ve spent the past few months working on expanding with three new offices. So, for those who are eagerly waiting to hear where the three new offices are going to be, wait no longer!

Where are we expanding to? We’re so glad you asked…

Castle Douglas

Jennifer McDairmant, one of the partners currently based in Dumfries and Annan, will be taking the reins at our office in the newest location of Castle Douglas, where we will be based on King Street.

Carlisle (Harraby)

Currently based at our Penrith office, partner Andrew Liddle will also oversee our latest office-based closer to home in Carlisle. Our new premises will be based at Unit 18 at Harraby Green Business Park.

Dumfries

Jennifer will also be handling our second office opening in Dumfries, where in addition to our office on Galloway Street, we will also be opening on George Street.

What does this mean for you?

One of the key values that Saint and Co. stand for is commitment and dedication –We’re determined to help your business flourish and grow, and it all starts with being readily available to you for support and advice. This becomes even more possible with our additional offices, giving us the facility to give you, even more, guidance, support and advice to take you wherever you want to go.

We also know that there’s more to our services than the price; our clients come to us looking for a firm with a high reputation and standard. Our multitude of offices means that we can build on our reputation and high-quality standards, as regardless of where you are, you will always have access to our expert team who are readily available to help solve your problems and ease your pains. This will always remain a cornerstone of our business.

Which office will you be visiting soon? We’d love to hear from you on social media. So why not tweet to us using @Saints_Accs and let us know when you’re dropping in to see us. We’re excited to see you at our new premises and hear all about your business goals for the future!

There’s something exciting coming soon – Saint & Co is expanding

There’s something exciting coming soon – Saint is expanding

We’ve got a surprise announcement for you that we’re excited to share: We’re continuing on expanding our reach for our clients and will be opening 3 new offices.

But what exactly does this mean for you?

Well, our clients know us for our local charm. No matter where you are in the UK, we’ve got the experience of a big accounting firm but with the personality and lure of a local accountant. Even though we’re over 100 years old, we’ve gone from strength to strength over the last few decades, growing on a daily basis as we continue to expand our offices throughout Cumbria and Southwest Scotland.

That’s why we’re thrilled to mark 2017 as another year of expansion for the firm! We’re excited for the next step in growing the business, and continuing further on our journey of providing a long-lasting relationship with you.

This new expansion will mean a lot for not only us, but you as well. We’re building on our commitment and dedication to your business, as our new offices mean it’ll be even easier for you to get in touch, whether you simply fancy a chat on the phone or want to pop in to visit one of our new offices. We’re committed to bringing success for your business, and now we’ll be able to build on our availability which has always been a cornerstone of our business – we love talking to and helping you and even if you want to simply say hello to your partner in charge, you can now just drop in to our offices!

As always, your best interests are always at heart with us, and we’re looking forward to bringing you more information on what offices you can begin to see over the coming weeks and how these are going to enhance the services for your business.

Can you guess where our new offices are going to be? Tweet to us using @Saints_Accs and share where you think we’ll be opening and we’ll reveal all in our next blog post…

The History of Saint & Co. – Part Three

The History of Saint & Co. - Part Three

A Roll of Honour: The War Heroes of J. Jackson Saint & Co.

When Archduke Franz Ferdinand was shot in 1914, few could have predicted the seismic impact of that single bullet. The long, bloody war that followed affected almost every aspect of life in Britain.

Companies like J.Jackson Saint & Co lost their youngest, fittest men to the front line in Europe and the Far East. Some never returned.

Being the owner’s sons, JB and Roland Saint were possibly the highest-profile absences, but they were not the only heroes at the Lowther Street offices. Here we remember just some of the war heroes of J. Jackson Saint & Co.

Sydney Cartmel Heron (1898 – 1968)

Sydney Heron was just 14 when he joined Saint & Co. in 1912. Five years later he would become involved in one of the bloodiest, hopeless battles of the First World War.

The son of a stone-cutter, he grew up in a small house in Denton Holme with his parents, three sisters and a brother.

In 1916, the teenage clerk enlisted to the army, joining the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

Remarkably his record of service has survived and it reveals some incredible detail about the young private from Carlisle.The History of Saint & Co. - Part Three

At 19, he stood at 5ft 8” tall and skinny – the girth of his chest measured 33 inches. He joined the 4th/5th (territorial) battalion and arrived at Le Havre, France with his comrades on February 13, 1917.

It is likely he took part in one of the bloodiest battles of the First World War – Passchendaele, officially the Third Battle of Ypres. During a three month battle, often in deep mud and heavy rain, the Allies accumulated more than 300,000 casualties only to advance their front line by five miles.

Sydney appears to have survived that battle relatively unscathed, but his luck changed on October 22, 1918. Now part of the 1st/4th Battalion, he was badly injured. A contemporary account reported that the battalion moved into billets at Froidmont in Belgium on October 21. It continued:

“At 2 am on the 22nd, we relieved the 1/4th King’s Own in the outpost line – C Company on the right, D on the left, A and B Companies in support.

“We attempted to advance, but were unable to do so owing to heavy machine gun and artillery fire, five other ranks being killed, 14 wounded, and one missing.”

He suffered a shoulder and chest injury on that battlefield, suffering 30% disablement, according to the official records. After being treated at the Kitchener Hospital in Brighton, he was discharged on April 4, 1919, on a weekly pension of 8s, 3d.

Exactly 19 days later, he returned to J.Jackson Saint & Co in Carlisle. As a 15-year-old office boy, he had received 5/- a week. Now a war veteran aged 21, his salary was increased fourfold – to 20/- a week.

Little more than a year after he left the battlefield for the last time, he secured a government grant which enabled him to train as a chartered accountant. In the early 20th century, it was rare that men from such modest backgrounds could secure such precious funding.

It meant that Sydney Heron could afford to be articled to JB Saint for three years and nine months and it stood him in good stead for the rest of his life. He married in 1937 – by then he was living in Cockermouth, a qualified accountant. He was eventually made the manager of Saint’s Workington office.

Clara Fazackerley (1901 – ?)

The History of Saint & Co. - Part Three

For many, the First World War provided opportunities that would have been unthinkable just a generation earlier. In 1919, one young Carlisle woman seized an opportunity that was to take her to the other side of the world.

Clara Fazackerley was born in Upperby in 1901, the youngest child of Tom, a railway guard, and Mary Jane. Their life together had been difficult – by 1911, four of their eight children had died.

Her brothers and sisters had all secured employment by the time they were 15. It is likely Clara was a similar age when she joined J.Jackson Saint & Co, one of an increasing number of women in the workplace, eager to contribute to the family finances.

Her time with Saints is recorded in an old employment ledger found at the firm’s current office. In it, it states that her wage increased to 16/6 in the first half of 1918. But it also notes a brave and life-changing decision taken by this forward-thinking young woman.

On March 15th, 1919, almost as soon as she turned 18, she took up a posting with the Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF). Employed as a shorthand typist, she had secured one of the most lucrative jobs in this newly-formed branch of the military, earning 36/- a week.

At a time when women over 30 had only just been given the vote and ladies who wore trousers were considered “fast”, it was a courageous move by the Cumbrian teenager. Not only did she give up a secure job, she was also required to move away from her family and her childhood home in Beaconsfield Street, Currock.

Clara would have had to undergo a rigorous and complex selection process before she was recruited as a “penguin”, so-called because women were initially not permitted to fly. As a “member”, rather than an officer, she formed part of the backbone of the service.The History of Saint & Co. - Part Three

Like her colleagues, she would have adhered to a strict code of conduct which, amongst many other things, forbade smoking in the street. These high standards led them to be viewed as the most professional and disciplined of all the women’s services.

But Clara’s role in the WRAF was short-lived. With The Great War at an end, the service was being wound up and on September 26, just six months after she was recruited, she was de-mobbed.

She appears to have impressed her superiors during her short time with the force: both her work and her personal character were “very good”, according to her certificate of discharge.

It is unclear what Clara did immediately after leaving the service but in 1922, she married Percy Thomas Cecil Mowbray, the son of a railway signalman, in Oundle, Northamptonshire.

Three years later her life was to change dramatically – again. On November 25, 1925, her 32-year-old husband sailed from Southampton to Uganda to take up employment as a works foreman.The History of Saint & Co. - Part Three

Ever-adventurous, Clara, 25, followed her husband around the world and she embarked on the same long journey, alone, little more than three months later.

During more than a decade in East Africa – where they welcomed a son, Trevor – they helped establish a modern infrastructure in a country that was previously dangerously dependent on one crop – cotton. As a foreman, and later an overseer earning up to £500 a year, Mr Mowbray is likely to have been involved in building hospitals, colleges and drainage systems.

Herbert James Rigg (1891 – 1976)

A small man, with a slight speech impediment, Herbert “Wigg” was often a figure of fun at the J. Jackson Saint’s Lowther Street offices. Despite that, by common consent, he was a brilliant accountant who commanded respect from his colleagues and staff.

He was eventually to rise to partner of the firm, but the young butcher’s son began his career as an articled clerk just before the outbreak of war.

He was one of seven children brought up by George and Elizabeth Rigg, at the turn of the century, first at 115 Denton Street and later at 61 Dalston Road. His elder brother, George, followed his father into butchery, while another brother, Thomas, became a watchmaker. His sister Ruth was a school teacher.The History of Saint & Co. - Part Three

In 1914 he joined the Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry as a corporal, and he joined the frontline in France on July 25 the following year.

He quickly rose through the ranks in the military: by the end of the war, he was a lieutenant with the Lothian and Borders Horse Yeomanry. He returned to Carlisle with decorations including the Victory Medal and the 1915 Star, and on taking up his old job at Saints in 1919, he commanded a salary of £250. But this hefty wage was not enough for the clever and ambitious Mr Rigg. A note under his name in the ledger of employees reads:

“Decided to take up an appointment abroad in Buenos Ayres but reconsidered his decision on having his salary raised to £350 p.a. and a promise of a partnership on becoming a Chartered Accountant.”

True to their word, within a few short years Herbert Rigg became a partner alongside John Boustead and Roland Saint.

He occupied an office on the first floor of the Lowther Street office, where he would walk around the building with a pipe almost constantly hanging from his mouth.

Contemporaries have described their fond memories of him introducing himself to prospective clients as “Herbert Wigg. R-I-G-G.”

Les Robson, an office boy for J.Jackson Saint & Co during the 1939-45 war, remembers Mr Rigg as a “fearsome” man who “ruled with a rod of iron”.

He enforced a strict policy of working from 9am-1pm, and from 2-6pm from Mondays until Fridays, and from 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

And despite his own tobacco habit, he refused to allow staff to smoke in the office – a policy that only started to change after the Second World War when some ex-serviceman were given special dispensation by the partners.

When Andrew Grainger returned from serving with the RAF, he approached Mr Rigg to ask permission to smoke at his desk.

The accounts clerk, who at more than 6ft tall towered over his superior, recalled that his boss looked up at him from behind his desk and said: “No Mr Grainger, I think it might stunt your growth.”

Furious, he handed in his notice the next day. Andrew Grainger went on to become one of the most successful businessmen in Cumbria, establishing one of the county’s first travel agencies, Cumbria Travel, and the accountancy firm Grainger and Platt.

Herbert Rigg retired in the mid-1950s and he died in 1977.

When his Thursby home went on the market shortly after his death, Mr Grainger bought it. He said: “I thought to myself, I’ll buy the bloody thing and I will smoke there.

“So I did.”

Mr Grainger is now a committed non-smoker.

Farming grants currently available in England

hedgerow

There are several grant schemes currently available which may be of interest to farmers, namely Leader programmes, Countryside Stewardship and Countryside Productivity, although there may also be other schemes available, depending on the farms location. Training vouchers and Young Farmers Support are also available via Farmer Network.

If you are considering any of the above, then you must ensure you are comfortable with the scheme rules.

Countryside Stewardship

Mid-Tier, Higher-Tier, Woodland Grants and Hedgerow & Boundaries Schemes. Mid- Tier now includes Water Capital grants, which now includes flood management features. For Flood Management, you need to be recommended for a grant by your Natural England project officer, and are capped at £10,000, but include grants for concreting yards, livestock tracks, roofing FYM stores, riverbank fencing and more. Higher-Tier covers environmentally significant sites, commons and woodlands. Contact your Natural England project officer for any help & guidance as to what you may qualify for. Woodland Grants scheme is perhaps as generous as it has been for many years. Woodland Creation is a 2 year capital works scheme to cover the capital cost of planting and maintenance for 10 years. The deadline for applications is 16 February 2018. There are minimum areas for creation, and if you are interested, you should engage a woodland consultant/land agent in the first instance to ensure your land is suitable for planting and access. Woodland Management grants are alos available if you already have a forest. Again, consult a woodland land agent if you want to know more.

Hedgerow & Boundaries Scheme

As the name suggests, this is for hedgerows and boundaries, including watercourse banks and stonewall restoration. This grant is limited to £5,000, but could be of benefit to farmers who are already considering boundary repairs over the coming months, in particular when the traditional hedge laying season is nearly upon us.

Countryside Productivity

Water Resource Management is for the storage of irrigation water, so probably irrelevant for Northern England – if only we could store and sell on at a later date! Forestry Productivity is for private forest holders with a minimum of 10 hectares, and small/medium forestry contractors. The grant can cover up to 40% of costs, with the minimum grant being £35,000 with a 3 April 2018 deadline. There is also likely to be an Animal Health & Welfare scheme opening later this year or early 2018.

Leader Programmes

More information is available here –

If you are interested in applying, the first stage is to contact your local Leader office using the e-mail enquiry form on their website or by giving them a call.

Other Schemes

Local Enterprise Partnerships RDPE Growth, with a minimum £35,000 grant in Cumbria relate to food processing, tourism infrastructure and rural business development – more information on http://www.cumbriaesif.co.uk/eafrd.html with a 31 January 2018 deadline. Similar programmes are available in-

Yorkshire http://www.businessinspiredgrowth.com/open-funding/

North and East Yorkshire http://www.be-group.co.uk/services/commercial-development-programmes/lets-grow-north-east-yorkshire/

Yorkshire Dales National Park http://www.yorkshiredales.org.uk/living-and-working/sdf

Lake District National Park Communities Fund provides grants between £500 & £3,000 http://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/caringfor/localcommunities/communitiesfund

Farmer Network

£200 per year training vouchers for people working on members farms aged between 15 & 40, to include trailer tests, spraying, AI and shearing. Young Farmers Support, funded by the Price’s Trust and provides successful applicants aged 18 to 30 with an understanding of what is needed to run a business and the time to develop business ideas one-to-one with a local experienced farm business adviser. If a business plan proves feasible, they may apply to The Prince’s Trust for a low-interest loan and grants towards market research and training. If they are awarded a loan, they receive ongoing voluntary support from a local business mentor. More information available from Kate Gascoyne on 01768 881462, Mobile 07548934282 or E mail: kate@thefarmernetwork.co.uk

If you want to discuss any of the above, then please contact any of our farming team.