at The Annex, Cherry Ash, Bank Lane, Abberley, Worcester, WR6 6BQ United Kingdom
Stimulating Rural Enterprise in Worcestershire
78 FB users likes Worcestershire Rural Hub, set it to 7 position in Likes Rating for Worcester, Worcestershire in Non-profit organization category
Do you have a small business or organisation in Worcestershire that employs 1 - 250 people? Then you are eligible to access funded training. We are working to ensure that rural companies take up this offer. if you want more details then please contact me. The process involves my coming to see you and talking with you about the training needs that your organisation has. The training is fully funded and accredited and delivered locally. You and/ or your employees can access local training, such as accounting and Finance, Business Admin, ICT, Social Media for businesses, Sales, Project Management, Travel and tourism to mention but a few, or it can be possible to arrange bespoke training. For more details and a chat about how you could benefit email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07833 051601.
Funded Courses for Worcestershire Companies. Funded training is now available for companies in Worcestershire employing less than 250 people. Packages available also include an organisational Training Needs Analysis that could benefit your company. The initiative offers access to a range of fully funded, accredited training courses for people working in Worcestershire. Training areas include: • Accounting and finance • Business Administration • Coaching and Mentoring • Customer Service – Welcome Host Gold • Functional Skills – English and Matths • Hospitality and Catering • ICT and ECDL • Leadership and Management • Project Management • Sales • Social media • Teaching and Assessing • Travel and Tourism Taster Sessions are also available: Customer Service – Welcome Host Gold Kidderminster 14th May Project Management Malvern 16th May Customer Service – Welcome Host Gold Malvern 20th May Team Leader/First Line Managers Wild Wood Rooms 29th May Team Leader/First Line Managers M G Rover Longbridge 28th May Finance for Non-Financial People Wild Wood Rooms 6th June Coaching and Mentoring Severn Valley Railway 24th June Team Leader/First Line Managers M G Rover Longbridge 25th June To book a place contact: Ian.email@example.com Full Details are also available on the hub website: www.wrh.org.uk
REMINDER: GREEN FUTURES 2014 MONDAY 3RD MARCH 2PM -4PM YFC CENTRE HAWFORD. WR3 7GS TO BOOK A PLACE CALL: 01432 870024
Dear all Just a note to let you know that the 2nd phase of the Farming Recovery Fund (FRF) has been launched today. The form (and guidance) is for farmers to apply for funding to restore flooded agricultural land and bring it back into production and this is now on the website. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/farming-recovery-fund-guidance-for-applicants A farm in England can apply for grants of up to £35,000 if they have been affected by the recent floods, that is, since 1 December 2013. (The maximum limit under the first phase of the scheme was £5,000.) If a farmer has already applied for a grant under the first phase of this scheme, they can also apply for the second larger grant, up to a collective total of £35,000. If they have submitted an application under the first phase, and want to apply in the second phase, they can complete a shortened version of the form. They can get this by calling the helpline for this scheme on 0300 060 2700. Jo Jury | RDPE Development Team Leader | West Midlands Defra RDPE Delivery Team | Government Buildings| Whittington Road | Worcester | WR5 2LQ firstname.lastname@example.org Direct 01905 768854| Mobile 07919112004 http://rdpenetwork.defra.gov.uk.
The Worcestershire LEADER Consultation Event will be held on Thursday 8th May 2014 at Pershore College. The aim of this event is to harness local knowledge on how best to deliver effectively against the national priorities in Worcestershire. All areas classed as rural will be eligible under the new Programme. The overall aim of the new Programme is to support jobs and growth and national priorities include: • Support for micro and small enterprises • Support for farm diversification • Support for increasing farm productivity • Support for rural tourism • Support for increasing forestry productivity • Provision of rural services • Support for cultural and heritage activity To reserve your place please use the following link: http://www.business-central.co.uk/apps/ViewEvent.aspx?Event=626 When booking please indicate in the special requirements box which priority you are most interested in. Please forward this email to anyone that you think may be interested in attending the event.
Warning! Last night we had the rugs stolen off our ponies as they stood in their field in front of our house (near the hunt kennels in Ladywood Rd, Fernhill Heath). I understand that there have been other incidents of rug stealing off horses’ backs in the last week or so in the local area. I would urge you to be very vigilant and spray paint your rugs with a postcode to make them less appealing to sell. If anyone sees or is offered cheap second-hand New Zealand rugs, please be suspicious as to where they have come from. We have informed the police. From the Mackintosh’s, Knoll Farm.
A quick reminder about scheme closing dates: Closing date for FFIS 3 applications is April 4th Closing date for FFIS applications from flood affected areas is 4th May Closing date for Farming Recovery fund is 9th May Those of you with applications for ACORN please can I have them for the next panel by 14th April. Can I also remind successful applicants to send in their receipts. For those of you wishing to apply, Guidance, application forms are on the main website: www.wrh.org.uk and please also remember to include quotes and VAT declaration (whether you are Vat reg or not) when you send in the application. If you need help or advice send a message or give us a call.
Rural Connections e-news. the latest edition has just been loaded onto our website: www.wrh.org.uk. (it is available on the front page, or on the news botton). it has latest information on: Flood Support Packages (farming support, Help for householders, Repair and renewal grants) Cross Compliance Guidance, Growth Vouchers Programme New Affordable Homes Plan Local Sustainable Transport Schemes Water Abstraction Reform.
Do you own a small wood? The Heartwoods Project has secured further DEFRA funding to extend the West Midlands Woodfuel Project. Details of the programme of events are currently being finalised but small woodland owners are encouraged to get in touch with the Heartwoods team so they can get free initial advice and be put in touch with practical managers who can help deliver the positive financial returns currently being enjoyed by other woodland owners. For further information please contact Charlie Horsford on 01952 435860 or Email: email@example.com You can also visit the website, www.heartwoods.co.uk
New Rules for overdue TB tests come into force Cattle farmers in England are facing large fines from 1st January 2014 if their TB tests are overdue, with the prospect of losing up to 5% of their Single Payment if tests are late. The Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) will notify farmers in writing of their TB testing window for all tests. From 1st January 2014 the AHVLA will provide the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) with details of all farmers who have not arranged for TB surveillance and check tests to be carried out by the due date. The RPA will apply a percentage reduction to Single Payments based on how overdue the test is. It is the farmer’s responsibility to notify the AHVLA in writing of any extenuating circumstances for failing to complete a test within the prescribed timeframe.
Worcestershire County Council has recently been given access to funding to be administered through the Redundant Building Grant (RBG) scheme to help develop properties in Worcestershire that have been vacant for some time and need some development to enhance their current business use. Certain eligibility criteria does apply to this funding and a summary is given below: • The building must have been vacant for a minimum of 3 months • The grant can only be used to make structural improvements/developments and not just general repairs. The developments must be permanent and not removable (not fixtures and fittings etc.) • The company must be creating/safeguarding jobs through expansion. • Agriculture, horticulture and food businesses can be complex. Before encouraging anyone to apply it may be best to check with the RBG team. The scheme is open to Owner Occupiers, Landlords and Tenants. Prospective tenants can apply with the approval of their landlord or a landlord can apply on behalf of their prospective tenant. The project is being managed by Herefordshire Council and applications are now open for Worcestershire buildings only and will be until June 2014 when the funding will then be opened up to include Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin. We are therefore keen to utilise this funding within Worcestershire during this period and would be grateful if you could notify any purchasers, landlords or tenants that may find this scheme beneficial. I have attached a brochure for further information and if you have any queries then please contact the Redundant Buildings Grant Team on 01432 260662.
ACORN PROJECT Please note that this project applies to all young people aged 30 years and under resident in rural post code areas of Worcestershire Grants of up to £2,000 are available for equipment/and or training to start or expand a rural business. Up dated application forms and guidance are available on the HUB Next applications need to be with us by 28th March for next funding Panel.
Worcestershire Rural Hub is pleased to tell you that we will be working with our Warwickshire counterparts - Warwickshire Rural Hub - working together means that we will be able to give all of our joint members news across both counties and keep you better informed, through our joint monthly E news. To receive them contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Rural and Farming Networks (RFNs) were created across England by the Government to bring together people from rural communities, rural businesses and the food and farming industries. They make a direct, two-way link between rural areas and the Government, establishing opportunities to develop better and more targeted policy. Those involved in the RFNs may have responded directly to this CAP simplification exercise as individuals or through their own organisations, but the following points have been highlighted as being of significance by the RFN Chairs. General • Does any regulation “add value”? • Do regulations recognise real outcomes/impacts? Is the administrative burden so onerous that there is no advantage in attempting the activity? • Similarly, do the potential penalties attached to an administrative error discourage activities for economic/environmental/social benefits from being undertaken? • Legislation/Guidance covering for “all eventualities” is bound to increase regulation, cost and opportunities for error. We should consider using disallowed lists, with everything else permitted, rather than naturally restrictive lists of what can be done and how. Greening • Greening should be devolved to Member States. • Applying crop diversification rules that include farms growing arable crops simply to feed their own animals appears heavy-handed and forces both practical and administrative burdens on these businesses. • The EU has conceded that EFAs should be calculated on a whole business basis, whereas other aspects of the farmer’s application is on a “field by field basis”, with penalties applied on each over-declaration but no benefit received for any under-declaration. Switching to a whole farm business approach would reduce the regulatory burden. • EFAs could be made simpler by basing the area required simply on pure arable cropping, simplifying calculations and making exemption rules easier to understand. • The argument has been made to replace EFAs with Entry Level Stewardship-type agreements containing local environmental targets and easier to follow rules. Flexibility • There should be fewer prescriptions on what can be funded by RDPE. Local (i.e. confirmed as a need) priorities cannot always be met within a nationally consistent framework, especially in Upland or other remote or sparsely populated areas. Administration • Where a single business (including farms) is accessing more than one strand of support, we should consider streamlining the process, e.g. one application form, one point/person of contact, one monitoring/audit system. LEADER • LEADER should have more flexibility on local priorities, with processes and monitoring proportional to the size of grant. (Risks are monitored by Local Action Groups who are fully accountable at local level.) • Including ESF and ERDF funds in a LEADER/Community led Local Development structure should provide a holistic, cost-effective and simpler solution to rural development.
Dear RFN Chairs and Key Contacts, At your meeting with Mr Eustice last week some concern was raised about the 21st October deadline for farmers to transfer Single Payment Scheme (SPS) entitlements. We thought you’d find it helpful if we explained the opportunities for farmers to transfer entitlements after this deadline. The key dates are as follows: • 21st October – The date by which RPA must have received requests to transfer SPS entitlements (on form RLE1). However, any leased entitlements that are due to be returned to their owner after 21 October 2014 will still be returned. We will also still be able to transfer any entitlements that are part of an inheritance after this date. • 1 January – SPS entitlements automatically become Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) entitlements. From early January - BPS entitlements can be transferred to ‘active farmers’ using the new CAP Information Service. More details about how to use the CAP Information Service will be provided nearer the time. More information about the above can be found on page 2 of ‘The new Common Agricultural Policy schemes in England: August 2014 update
The traineeship programme posted below includes Agriculture, Horticulture, Equine and Sport. If you are a young person between 16 and 18 or have a business in one of the land based industries or sport, please call Pauline Yardley 07833 051601 for details or contact Droitwich CVS 01905 779115.
Worcestershire Rural Hub Steering Group recently met and approved 5 more projects to help young rural people purchase equipment and training to help them set up or expand their own business. The grant awards were made through the ACORN Project, which is funded currently by the Princes Countryside Trust. These latest awards mean that over the last few years that we are proud to have supported over 75 young people and given grants to a total of over £150,000. This current funding for ACORN still has money available, so if your are 30 years or under, live in rural Worcestershire and wish to set up or expand your own bussiness then please contact us. Non-returnable grants of up to £2,000 are available to you. Full details, application forms and guidance are availble on our website www.wrh.org.uk or call Valerie Breakwell on 07833 051602 or Pauline Yardley 07833051601 Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members of the Farm Animal Genetic Resources Committee (FAnGR) Appointment for a three or four year period from July 2014 Are you interested in advising government on issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of farm animal genetic resources? We are currently recruiting for new members for the Farm Animal Genetic Resources Committee. You will be able to contribute effectively to reaching soundly based advice and decisions. You will demonstrate excellent communication skills, an ability to work collaboratively and to understand and value others’ perspectives. You will have an understanding and/or experience of the animal breeding industry. You will also have experience or understanding in two other key aspects - including key livestock sectors, mainstream or rare breeds, scientific research, or working with government. Meetings are held up to 3 times a year, in London, Edinburgh, Belfast or Cardiff. The time commitment is 1-2 days a month. An attendance fee of £120.80 per day is paid plus additional fees for preparation and subsistence expenses. The Farm Animal Genetic Resources Committee (FAnGR) is an expert committee of Defra and the Devolved Administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It provides advice on all issues relating to farm animal genetic resource (FAnGR) (meaning cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry and equines) particularly its conservation and sustainable use. Further information on the Committee can be found at www.gov.uk/government/groups/farm-animal-genetic-resources-committee-fangr To see the full application pack and find out more about the role please go to http://publicappointments.cabinetoffice.gov.uk or contact us on email@example.com or ring 020 7238 6607 The closing date for all applications is 12 noon on 9 May 2014. Interviews are expected to be held in early to mid June 2014. We are committed to ensuring diversity across our public bodies so we can better represent the communities we serve. All appointments are made on merit following a fair, open and transparent process.
RDPE Network News 33 News: • The third round of the Farming and Forestry Improvement Scheme closes on the 4 April 2014. The deadline for applicants in flood affected areas has been extended to 04 May 2014. • Defra is seeking views on the impacts on the environment of the proposed new Rural Development Programme in England. This is the Strategic Environmental Assessment of the scheme. The consultation closes on the 9 April 2104. • A £10 million fund has opened to enable a range of pilot projects to be run, as the Government seeks to include the most remote areas in the broadband transformation taking place across Britain. Local Spotlight • The Instant Karma Brewery has won the Countryside Alliance's Midlands Start up Award. The project was awarded funding from the Bolsover and North East Derbyshire Local Action Group for the creation and installation of a new “real-ale” micro-brewery in a former family club in Clay Cross. The new public house and micro-brewery has created 6 new jobs (5 FTE). The brewery now goes into the national finals to be held at the House of Lords on Wednesday 30 April. What's On: • The Scottish Leader conference 2014: Inspire - be inspired took place last week in Glasgow. The event aimed to kick start action on the implementation of the LEADER approach in Scotland for 2014-2020. The presentations from the event are now online. • The presentations from the recent 'Out of the Shadows' Growth from (non-land) enterprises run by the Enterprise Research Centre are now available online. This includes a presentation on Community-Led Local Development: LEADER and rural growth. Sharing Useful Information: • A Forestry Commission hosted project across the East of England has made it easier for businesses to bring wild venison to supermarket shelves and help address some of the issues associated with a growing deer population in the region. The results show a 233 per cent increase in the amount of wild venison brought to market. The report also estimates that for every £1 spent, it’s generated around £2.75 of economic activity across the East of England, and helped support the creation of ten new jobs. • We would like to wish Sophie Fraenkel all the best as she leaves the Network on maternity leave, and welcome to Denise Blackmore who has joined the team.
REMINDER: FARMING RECOVERY FUND APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE TOMMOROW 28TH FEB. http://www.defra.gov.uk/rural/rdpe/ Local contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 01905 768854 Mobile: 07919112004 I saw Jo today and she says they aim to turn around applications within two weeks.
Farming Recovery Fund The Farming Recovery Fund has been launched and guidance is available explaining how farmers can apply for funding to restore flooded agricultural land and bring it back into production. • Any farm holding in England can apply for grants of between £500 and £5,000 if they are or have been affected by the recent flood events (since December 1, 2013). • The application form will be available on Friday 28 February 2014. • Applications must be submitted by 9 May 2014. You can however apply as early as you like Pls see link to the guidance and the application form will be available on Friday: Farming Recovery Fund Guidance Revisions to FFIS for those farmers affected by flooding FFIS 3 has been amended to allow for farmers who have been flooded to apply for additional items:- As a result of the recent flooding we have reviewed the scheme and concluded that there are several ways that FFIS Round 3 can offer support for flood victims. The focus for Round 3 must however remain on improving the longer term competitiveness of the business with the Farming Recovery Fund above, addressing immediate and shorter term needs to get the farm and the business back on its feet. The changes are summarised as: • funding additional items specifically for those in flood affected areas to help the business become more resilient to future flooding occurrences, • increases in grant rates, • changing scheme processes to prioritise applications from those affected by flooding and • extending the deadline date for applications from flood affected areas. • Further guidance for FFIS applicants in flood affected areas. Jo Jury | RDPE Development Team Leader | West Midlands Defra RDPE Delivery Team | Government Buildings| Whittington Road | Worcester | WR5 2LQ email@example.com Direct 01905 768854| Mobile 07919112004 http://www.defra.gov.uk/rural/rdpe/
Cryptolocker RansomeWare Alert Important Security Notice What is Cryptolocker? CryptoLocker is a ransomware program that was released around the beginning of September that targets all versions of Windows including Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. This ransomware will encrypt certain files using a mixture of RSA & AES encryption. When it has finished encrypting your files, it will display a CryptoLocker payment program that prompts you to send a ransom of either $100 or $300 in order to decrypt the files. This screen will also display a timer stating that you have 72 hours, or 4 days, to pay the ransom or it will delete your encryption key and you will not have any way to decrypt your files. This ransom must be paid using MoneyPak vouchers or Bitcoins. How do you become infected by Cryptolocker? This infection is typically spread through emails sent to company email addresses that pretend to be customer support related issues from Fedex, UPS, DHS, Government authorities and now Fax reports. These emails would contain a zip attachment or more commonly URL links that when opened would infect the computer. The zip files contain executables that are disguised as PDF files as they have a PDF icon and are typically named something like FORM_101513.exe or FORM_101513.pdf.exe. Since Microsoft does not show extensions by default, they look like normal PDF files and people open them. Make sure all your network users are aware of the dangers of opening up suspicious emails and inform your IT support immediately if suspicious emails have been sent to you. What should I do if I discover that my computer is infected with Cryptolocker When you discover that a computer is infected with CryptoLocker, the first thing you should do is disconnect it from your wireless or wired network. This will prevent it from further encrypting any files. Call your IT support desk immediately. Is it possible to decrypt files encrypted by CryptoLocker? Unfortunately at this time there is no way to retrieve the private key that can be used to decrypt your files without paying the ransom. Brute forcing the decryption key is not realistic due to the length of time required to break the key. Also any decryption tools that have been released by various companies will not work with this infection. The only method you have of restoring your files is from a backup or Shadow Volume Copies if you have System Restore enabled. Newer variants of CryptoLocker attempt to delete the Shadow Copies, but it is not always successful. If you do not have System Restore enabled on your computer or reliable backups, then you will need to pay the ransom in order to get your files back. Please be extra vigilant,