How's Business explains how funding from the the Rural Growth Programme helped enterprising couple Stan and Ann Beer diversify into new markets.
Look outside your workplace, what do you see? Countryside, historic ruins, a market town? How about a 50 foot drop that’s over a mile long and runs through the belly of the Yorkshire Dales?
How Stean Gorge, found at Lofthouse, in Nidderdale, includes breath-taking views, outdoor activities and the only via ferrata – a high wire course of ladders and crisscrossing beams – in Yorkshire. Growing numbers of visitors to How Stean led owners Stan and Ann Beer to explore possibilities for extending their visitor centre.
The couple came up with the idea that the centre that could hang directly over the gorge and provide their customers with a unique perspective of the 10,000 year old natural landmark, whilst providing the much needed extra space for their growing numbers of visitors. Developing what they have dubbed the new “sky lounge” was no small task, but they were determined to make the most of their view.
Installing four glass walkways and a glass walled area isn’t easy. The limestone of the gorge is so unique, it’s classed as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Now, that might be a great selling point, but ambitious projects don’t come cheap and extending the café over the gorge would require a significant feat of structural engineering.
Fortunately, funding is available to help pioneering businesses realise their vision. Through the Rural Growth Programme grant, Stan and Ann received support of approximately £40,000. “Without this grant, the project would never have been a possibility. The grant was the key that unlocked the door to allow us to be really ambitious. The project has already had a significant impact on our business, we have taken on new staff and we have lots of exciting plans for the new year ”, Stan explained.
The expanded visitor centre at How Stean Gorge now offers a range of facilities for corporate customers including a stunning location for events and meetings, but also team building and away days.
There are some great opportunities available from the Rural Growth Programme grant, so businesses like How Stean Gorge can really show off what York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Yorkshire has to offer. The funding could cover up to 40% of a project with a minimum grant of £35,000 available. Whether you need to extend a building, or simply invest in new equipment, you could receive a substantial amount of funding support.
If you want to take your business to new heights then don’t miss out on the Rural Growth Programme grant. The application date has recently been extended to the 31st May 2018, so there’s still time to make the most of this funding. Submissions will be accepted at any point until the deadline. For more information, get in touch now via firstname.lastname@example.org
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