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West Dorset MP takes a tour of farm
WEST Dorset MP Oliver Letwin toured the Miles Cross Farm Education and Enterprise Centre at Symondsbury.
The centre offers education and training courses and a range of business enterprise and development services that include start up support and on-site business incubation accommodation.
It also features continuous management development support and training for new entrants and established small businesses.
Ruth Wrixton, joint business partner and owner of Miles Cross Farm, welcomed the visit from Mr Letwin to see progress.
She said: “The centre has grown in leaps and bounds over the last year.
“Local children, adults, businesses and visitors have taken part in our vocational skills courses, business workshops or the hugely popular “have a go at new skills” events, business network events.
“We have also seen the development of six new start-up businesses on site and a further six locally based associated new business developments.
“These range from blacksmith metalwork, horticulture garden centre, fishing, clay shooting, traditional sustainable construction services, environmental technology, woodworking, jewellery making, mountain cycle leisure activities and local guest house and leisure.”
The centre has a range of partners including Windmill Business Limited, Yeovil College, Kingston Maurward College, Symondsbury School, Colfox School, local businesses providing financial, legal, real estate, and technology skills, knowledge and innovation support.
The centre is also supported by the European, Defra, Chalk and Cheese funded Skills For Self Reliance Project.
Director of employer engagement at Yeovil College Tim Hunt said: “The college has worked closely with Miles Cross Farm colleagues to establish a centre which offers a unique range of essential skills training and knowledge transfer activities.”
He added: “As part of our highly successful Skills For Self Reliance Project, we have established a formal partnership between AP Chant’s New Core Renewable Energy Centre, Yeovil College and Miles Cross Farm Education and Enterprise Centre, to develop and deliver a range of environmental technology courses, workshops and events.”
Coun Ros Kayes put together the Skills for Self Reliance bid, and said: “The innovative equipment and teaching space offered by Yeovil College, AP Chant’s CORE Centre and also demonstrated at Miles Cross, offers a real opportunity for us to develop innovative training in renewable energy, solar and wind power and wood fuel systems and to bring the fieldwork to Miles Cross Farm Education and Enterprise Centre.”