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Home: Ashford Borough Council

Rural Business Support

Ashford countrysideSpecific advice for Agricultural businesses can be found  through the Advice for Kent Downs Farmers Scheme.

General business advice and support is available for Ashford businesses and information is provided on what to do if you are thinking of starting a business.

Free advice for Kent Downs Farmers

If you are a farmer, landholder or small rural business in or straddling the boundary of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) you could be eligible to receive a free Action Plan to support you in expanding or diversifying your business.

The Kent Downs Rural Advice Service is a pilot project providing free support to farmers and land owners who are seeking to make a change to their land management practices or business. The service can arrange for experts in planning, environment and business development to visit each farmer wishing to take advantage of the service and set out advice in a straight forward Action Plan to help take proposals forward.

For more information email jenny.bate@kentdowns.org.uk at Kent Downs Rural Advice Service, call 01303 815170 or visit the Kent Downs website.

Farm Diversification Toolkit

The Farm Diversification Toolkit is a reference guide and DIY toolkit to help farmers take a balanced and integrated approach to making changes on their farm.

Covering the business, financial, heritage, environmental and planning issues, the toolkit offers anyone a first step introduction and web-based 'source book'.

For more information on the toolkit please email jenny.bate@kentdowns.org.uk at Kent Downs Rural Advice Service, or visit the Kent Downs website.

Action for Communities in Rural Kent

Action for Communities in Rural Kent (ACRK) is an independent voluntary organisation that deals specifically with rural projects and communities within Kent. They provide support and advice for rural businesses as well as helping to raise awareness of rural issues.

To support the ever changing needs of rural retailers, ACRK has created the Kent for Rural Retail (KARR), this organisation attempts to prevent villages from becoming just dormitories to local towns and tries to preserve retail in the rural area.

For more information call 01303 813790 or visit Action for Communities in Rural Kent.

Countryside Productivity Scheme

Farmers, woodland owners and forestry contractors can apply for grants under the Countryside Productivity Scheme.

The Countryside Productivity Scheme is part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), which is administered by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).

Find out more about the different grants available.

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