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Warwickshire Rural Hub

Latest News

Here is a flavour of some of the most recent industry news stories.  To read all news posts please click on one of the categories above.

Innovate UK Fast Track competition

Innovate UK has launched a fast start competition to support UK businesses to focus on emerging or increasing needs of society and industries during and following the Covid-19 pandemic. By fast-tracking innovation, the UK will be better placed to maintain employment levels, a competitive position in global markets and make the UK more resilient to similar disruption.

Applications must demonstrate both realistic and significant benefits for society (including communities, families and individuals) or an industry that has been severely impacted and/or permanently disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Proposals must focus on a clear need and the proposed innovation to address it. The business must have the ability to deliver the project during the working restrictions of Covid-19 pandemic. Businesses can claim 100% of project costs up to the maximum of £50,000.   Funding will be paid in advance of the project start date and single company applications only are invited.

The competition closes on 17th April. Successful applicants will be notified on 1st May. Apply Now

Warwickshire CC Shielding Hubs for those vulnerable to COVID-19

Warwickshire County Council’s newly established Shielding Hubs are now live. If you have been notified as being particularly vulnerable to #Covid19 and need to isolate for 12 weeks but do not have any local support, you can call them on their dedicated number – 0800 408 1447

Agricultural supply chains during the coronavirus outbreak

With the leisure sector effectively closed during the coronavirus outbreak the bottom has effectively fallen out of the processor’s market, says our Business Supporter, Wright Hassall solicitors.  Visit this page for their advice on how to react if your supply chain becomes disrupted.

Prince’s Countryside Fund Emergency Grants Fund is now open

The Prince’s Countryside Fund has launched an emergency fund to assist organisations which are providing emergency relief to vulnerable or isolated individuals, providing support to farmers and farm businesses affected by the Coronavirus pandemic or are assisting rural or farming communities to cope with the Coronavirus pandemic.

With thanks to Players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the Fund can award grants of up to £2,500.

To be eligible for a grant you will need to demonstrate that your project is providing emergency relief to vulnerable or isolated individuals in rural or farming communities across the UK.  The grant could cover fuel costs for grocery and prescription delivery from rural community shops, pubs, and hubs, costs associated with emergency support by farm and agricultural support groups or rural foodbanks and food delivery.

Registered Charities, Community Benefit Societies, Community Interest Companies, Companies limited by guarantee and Social enterprises may all apply for the funding.  

Applications are via an online form and the closing date is 15 April 2020 at 12 noon.   Visit this page for full information.

Updated information from the Rural Payments Agency during the coronavirus outbreak

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has set out some information for farmers, landowners and rural businesses on changes in operations during the coronavirus outbreak.  Read all the updates on this page.  

Download a template letter to confirm that travel is essential

Police forces across the UK have been stopping drivers to check they are making essential-only journeys and that has been causing red-tape headaches for companies.  Rural Hub Business Supporter, Wright Hassall solicitors, is recommending firms take steps to prevent vital supplies being stopped and employees being allowed to continue their work, and is advising all delivery firms to issue drivers and other transport staff with letters from their employer which confirms their work is essential.

A template for the letter can be downloaded here.

Government launches coronavirus WhatsApp messaging service

The Government has launched a new #Coronavirus Information service on WhatsApp. Get official advice and information about coronavirus directly from the government. Get started by WhatsApping ‘hi’ to 07860 064422.

Results of the Big Farmland Bird Count 2020

More than 1500 farmers across Britain took part in the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust 2020 Big Farmland Bird Count (BFBC) the higher number since it launched in 2014.

Over 120 species were recorded across 1.4 million acres. Due to storms Ciara and Dennis hitting both weekends of the count, organisers extended the count window by a week in response to calls from hundreds of farmers who wanted to take part but couldn’t do so. Many more farmers were battling with flooding during the period of the count.

An impressive 25 red-listed species were recorded, with nine featuring in the 25 most-commonly seen species. Of these, fieldfares, starlings, linnets and lapwings were the four most abundant red listed species recorded with over 67,000 in total, which equates to 24% of all species spotted. The five most abundant birds seen were woodpigeons, starlings, lapwings, black-headed gulls and rooks.

Buy milk and dairy direct from the farm (or join the list if you are a producer)

Buying milk straight from the farm is one way to source milk during the cornonavirus pandemic and it also helps make sure dairy producers get a fair deal.

Farmers Weekly has created a map of British farmers selling direct to the public – cutting out the supermarket or middleman. Many of these suppliers sell via online shops or can arrange contact-free delivery.

Some produce pasteurised milk, others sell raw or unpasteurised and a few have a wider dairy range to try.   Click on the map below to find on-farm dairies near you where you can buy direct, if you’re a consumer, or, if you’re a dairy farmer selling direct, you can send Farmers Weekly your details and they’ll add you to the map.


Be warned about scam coronavirus text message

Please be warned not to fall for a bogus text message saying you have been fined £250 for leaving your house during the coronavirus lockdown.  This text is the latest in a series of scams related to the virus claims to be from the Government, telling the recipient their movements have been monitored through their phone and they must pay a fine or face a more severe penalty.

Police can order members of the public to go home or leave an area, have the power to disperse a group, using “reasonable force”, and can make arrests if someone refuses to comply.  Those who ignore the tougher restrictions could be hit with a £60 fine initially – reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days – and another for £120 for a second offence.

Call for personal protective equipment supplies

To limit the spread of Covid19, Warwickshire County Council is working to ensure a regular supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to those in need. If you have any spare FFP2 face masks and other PPE, please contact   The council will distribute the equipment to health and care staff working to support the vulnerable in Warwickshire.

Countryside Productivity Small Grant deadline extended

The deadline date for the Countryside Productivity Small Grant scheme has been extended to mid-night on 31 July 2020.   All items must be in place at the location stated in your application and operational, before you submit your claim. If you still intend to claim, please buy your items and submit your claim email to by 31 July 2020 but earlier if at all possible. You can use the claim template and supporting documents detailed in your Grant Funding Agreement.  Submit your Invoices, Bank Statements and Photos as per Annex 5 of the handbook.

If you have any concerns that you will be unable to meet the new deadline date of 31 July then please email or call 03000 200 301.

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Contact Us

The Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC
c/o Pleasance Farm, Kenilworth
Warwickshire, CV8 1PR

Tel: 07780 159291

Company Registration No: 7026157
Registered office: 23 West Bar Street, Banbury, OX16 9SA



Hub Chair

Henry Lucas






Jane Hampson

Tel: 07780 159291






Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC Directors

Henry Lucas (Chair)
Graham Collier (Deputy Chair)
Karen Ellis
Carrie Robbins
Alexandra Robinson
James Walton





Hub Steering Group Members

George Bostock, NFU
Mark Dickin, Ellacotts Accountants
Tom Newbery, Highfield Farm
Alexandra Robinson, Wright Hassall LLP
Matt Willmott, King's Seeds
Jon Slee, Abbey Farm
Andrew Cook, Farmer
Emlyn Evans, Squab Hall


The Warwickshire Rural Hub accepts no liability for any direct, indirect or consequential loss arising from any action taken in reliance on the information contained on this website.

© 2018 Warwickshire Rural Hub. All rights reserved.