A NEW North Yorkshire Fresh Start Academy for the Uplands was launched at the show.

The centre will be based at Thirsk Auction Mart and follows the success of a pilot academy at Newton Rigg College, Penrith.

Julia Aglionby, director for the National Centre for the Uplands at Newton Rigg, said: “This is a must for any entrepreneur wanting to start up a business either farming or non-farming.”

The academy is open to anyone aged over 18 years. It is designed to support and develop the next generation of upland farmers, land managers and land-based businesses, and help those already farming to develop the skills needed to turn their business idea into reality.

The programme offered involves ten sessions over three days and four evenings from November 5 to February 11. It involves visits and a range of speakers.

It begins by looking at hill farming, understanding the assets and capitalizing on the soil, grass, habitats, wood and energy.

It then considers diversification, joint ventures and tenancy options, looking at finances and cash flow, presenting a business plan and negotiating skills.

The course co-ordinator is Graham Bulmer who farms near Helmsley, lectures at Askham Bryan College and is a member of the Yorkshire Rural Support Network.

The cost is £50 for the full course and there are 20 places.

The deadline for applications is September 30. Application forms can be downloaded at newtonrigg.ac.uk/uplands/ freshstart.

For details, contact Mr Bulmer at graham.bulmer@ askham-bryan.ac.uk or call 07734-079459.