Ellen Pearce from LESS invites you to feed into creating a new community farm in North Lancashire.

The Our Food Futures community food strategy makes the case for producing more food within North Lancashire. There is also interest in an increasing range of land-based skills, vocations, and enterprises.

LESS (a social enterprise working in Lancaster District) is now in a position to scope and purchase some land for a community farm. This project is funded through the UK Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

We understand that access to land and related facilities are huge barriers for new entrants to farming and land-based work. There may also be other barriers that people face when wanting to access land for growing – whether for community food projects or commercial businesses.

LESS and FoodFutures are interested in hearing from individuals, community groups, and businesses who have well-formed ideas or dreams about being able to access land for the benefit of local residents.

To support this, they have created a form (forms.gle/tELoNJgCjtoGyor19) to collect hopes or plans for food production or land-based enterprises or projects. The form seeks to understand:

  • What type of land and infrastructure people/groups are looking for and at what scale.

  • What skills and experience they already have and what they might need.

  • What business ideas have been considered.

  • Financial and time commitments.

  • Interest and experience in working collaboratively with others.

There are also lots of online resources to help with business planning, community project development, and further reading. Check out the ‘How to set up a community food project resources’ from FoodFutures (foodfutures.org.uk/growing-food-community); the Landworkers’ Alliance Pathways to Agroecology and Business Planning Guide (landworkersalliance.org.uk/agroecological-pathways). FoodFutures also hosts a FarmStart training programme which covers business and horticultural skills and supports the transition of trainees to new businesses (get in touch with ellen@lessuk.org for more information if interested).

If interested in feeding into the creation of a new community farm in North Lancashire, please complete the following form by mid-March or email answers directly to ellen@lessuk.org: forms.gle/tELoNJgCjtoGyor19  LESS will ensure that your personal information is held in accordance with GDPR principles and all published data will be anonymised.

LESS intends to use the data from the surveys to help co-develop a vision and spec for the community farm and the business models that will underpin it, and to identify the area of land and associated infrastructure they look to purchase over the course of 2024.

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