HRH The Prince of Wales attended Louth Livestock Market, to announce that Louth will be a new location for year three of The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme, and meet with key stakeholders involved in saving the mart.
HRH took the opportunity to announce that the Farm Resilience Programme, run by The Prince’s Countryside Fund, would be opening in Louth in September to support up to 20 local family livestock and dairy farms.
Held in 15 locations across the country annually, The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme helps farming families to become more resilient and prepare for the future, through a series of business skills workshops led by leading agricultural consultancies. It will bring local farmers together in a network and help to further secure Louth market’s place as an essential rural hub for Lincolnshire.
Claire Saunders, Director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund said: “We are so proud to be bringing The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme here to Louth. Livestock farming, and farming families, are increasingly at risk but this programme of support ensures that the local rural economy can prosper, and as a result, vibrant rural communities can thrive. We would emphatically encourage farming families in the area to sign up when the programme starts in the autumn.”
HRH also met auctioneers and members of staff from businesses based at the livestock market, and heard of their efforts to save the market from closure in 2017 following a decade of uncertainty when the district council landlords had earmarked the site for a supermarket and offered the site for sale.
As a result of a community led campaign the district council and the auctioneers who run the market are now actively working together to ensure a sustainable and thriving market site with the rural community at its heart.
Simon Williams a partner with Louth Market Auctioneers said: “2017 was a tumultuous year for the market but we now look forward to a secure future. We thank The Prince of Wales and The Prince’s Countryside Fund from the bottom of our hearts, and we think it’s great that His Royal Highness could be here today to launch the Farm Resilience Programme. That he is prepared to travel to see us and meet those involved is a tremendous boost and one that will live long in the memory.”
Additionally, HRH met with four farmers who were previous beneficiaries of The Prince’s Countryside Fund’s grants programme, attendees of the Technology for Information Literacy Course run by the Grimsby Institute. The project helped farmers to improve their IT skills, furthering the success of their businesses by allowing them to improve their record keeping, communications, and marketing.