Funding boost for farm shop

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LOCAL producers have a new outlet near Rye thanks to grant funding..

Salts Farm Shop has opened on the A259 at East Guldeford, following an award by the Wealden and Rother Rural (WARR) Partnership.

The shop markets the farm’s own Romney Marsh lamb, as well as providing a valuable outlet for other local farmers and producers.

The aim will be to stock a range of meats, fruit, vegetables, drinks and dairy produce, which will reduce local ‘food miles’.

Opening the shop has created four new full-time jobs for local people as well as helping to diversify the farm’s activities and improve its long-term sustainability.

The amount of the grant has not been disclosed but has been used to provide display counters, tills, fridges and freezers, computer equipment and a fresh hot drinks machine.

In addition the shop provides a community centre, a small drinks and refreshments area and public toilet facilities.

As the village of East Guldeford currently has no shop, pub or village hall, the centre is being offered to the Parish Council for their activities.

The shop is prominently located at the junction of the A259 with the Camber Road.

It also houses a display of old farming tools and photographs and it is hoped these, together with tourist leaflets, will help to draw tourists to the area as well as visitors coming to buy the farm’s own Romney Marsh lamb.

Thanks to funding from Defra and the EU under the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), over the five years to 2013, the WARR Partnership has £2.4m to award to projects which help to improve our rural economy.

Grants of up to £50,000 are available for activities such as farm diversification; adding value to agricultural and forestry products; creation and development of micro-enterprises; tourism; village renewal and development, and the conservation of our rural heritage.

For more information and details of how to apply, visit the WARR Partnership’s website at www.warrpartnership.org.uk, or telephone the team for advice and guidance on 01424 787400.