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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.

Search before you dig with the free to use online search service

Did you know that it’s National Safe Digging Week ending on 26 September 2020?  Over one third of farmers have hit an underground pipe or cable whilst digging, or know a colleague that has – and tragically, 33 percent of these incidents resulted in fatalities.  To dig safely consider using – a free to use online search service where any individual can check their works against owners’ utility assets. These assets include hundreds of thousands of kilometres of underground and overhead pipelines and cables in the electricity, gas, high pressure fuel/oil, heating, water and fibre optic networks.

Post-furlough support for businesses and the self-employed – the main points

The main points of the Chancellor’s post-furlough support for businesses, announced on 24 September, are:

Job Support Scheme
The government will subsidise the pay of employees who are working fewer than normal hours due to lower demand
Workers must work at least a third of their normal hours and employers will pay staff for the hours they work
The government and the employer will pay a third each for the hours they can’t work
The grant will be capped at £697.92 per month
All small and medium sized businesses will be eligible for the scheme and larger business will be eligible if their turnover has fallen during the crisis
The scheme will run for six months starting in November and replaces the furlough scheme

Business loans
Bounce Back Loans will be extended from six years to ten years
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme lenders will be able to extend the length of loans from six years to ten years
Businesses struggling can choose to make interest only payments for six months or apply to suspend repayments altogether for six months

The 15% emergency VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality industries will be extended to 31 March 2021
Businesses who deferred their VAT bills will be able to pay back their taxes in 11 smaller interest-free instalments

Support for the self-employed
The Self Employment Income Support Scheme Grant will cover 20% of average monthly profits up to a total of £1,875 for the period from November to the end of January 2021
A further grant may be available to cover February 2021 to the end of April, depending on circumstances
Self-assessment income taxpayers can apply to be given more time to pay their tax due

Warwickshire businesses urged to prepare for the new NHS Covid-19 App

Warwickshire businesses with a physical location open to the public are being urged to prepare for the launch of the new NHS Covid-19 app, being launched on Thursday 24 September, by downloading a QR code poster for their premises from the government’s website.   Key to the success of the NHS Covid-19 app is that buildings such as pubs, restaurants and other businesses with areas open to the public clearly display the NHS QR code posters at all their entrances, so customers who have downloaded the Covid-19 app can use their smartphones to check in easily.   It is a legal requirement for such premises to display the posters which must replace any existing QR codes that businesses are displaying for test and trace or for the recent Eat Out to Help Out scheme.   

Businesses should download their QR code posters here:   

For full information please visit this page.  

Discounted membership of Federation of Small Businesses for north Warwickshire businesses

As businesses start to reopen, North Warwickshire Borough Council has revealed a new element of support for the area’s small businesses and self-employed, designed to help firms recover from the coronavirus crisis and beyond.  The Council has teamed up with the Warwickshire and Coventry arm of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) to offer a heavily discounted membership – which includes access to a huge range of support services, discounts and advice – to small businesses within the North Warwickshire area.  North Warwickshire Borough Council is subsidising membership, opting to pay the first £50 of the usual fee and FSB is waiving the normally required joining fee. That means sole traders can join from as little as £97, way down from a typical £177.  Visit this page for full information.

Vigilance for lungworm advised

Cattle are infected with lungworm through eating grass which is contaminated with infective larvae passed out in the dung of other infected animals. Mild, damp conditions favour the survival of these larvae on the pasture.  The present warm conditions with rainfall favour this situation.

Lungworm is a parasitic infection of the respiratory tract in cattle, which can cause severe disease outbreaks with coughing and respiratory distress. Death can occur in heavy infestations. Other signs can include weight loss, and reduced milk yield in dairy cows.  Animals that are exposed to lungworms usually develop immunity to re-infection. However, a lack of exposure in young cattle can result in clinical disease in older cattle. In order to maintain immunity, further exposure to lungworm is important.  Disease in older animals is being increasingly diagnosed in AFBI both in those that have not previously been exposed, or in those whose immunity has diminished due to not having been re-exposed and so vigilance is advised.

Grants of up to £10,000 for Worcestershire farmers and growers

There are a limited number of capital grants of between £2,000 and £10,000 (50% match funded) to provide support for Worcestershire agricultural and horticultural businesses to increase mechanisation on agricultural holdings.   The fund will support new and innovative investments in technology, rather than purchase of standard equipment.   Eligible farmers and growers must be operating within Worcestershire and have a Worcestershire business address.  Businesses from the agriculture sector may only apply for the Agriculture and horticulture grant and are not eligible to apply for other grants available under the Here2Help Business programme.  Full information is available on this page.  

ADAS tests reveal high level of dormancy in Blackgrass

Dr Sarah Cook, Senior Research Consultant at ADAS, has discovered that ADAS annual black-grass seed testing is pointing to high levels of dormancy which, in turn, is likely to lead to protracted germination this autumn.  The test is designed to break dormancy by growing seed in specific conditions over a fortnight; only 24% of the samples germinated.  While the result is not unusual for black-grass, it emphasises the need to delay drilling, establish a competitive crop and optimise pre-ems.   Read the full article on this page.  

Keep your stock, medicine and field records on your mobile ‘phone

AgriWebb is a cloud-based farm management app available on iOS and Android.  The app allows for on the go, offline data entry. With one touch sync, your data is made available in the web app for reporting and further analysis.  You can also see a clear picture of your farming operation with all your sheep, cattle and field records in one place and unlock valuable insights, understand inefficiencies, and make informed decisions in real-time with your data.  The cost of the app starts from £21+VAT per month, but you can trial the app free of charge for 14 days.  Visit this page for further information.

Mind Your Head on World Suicide Prevention Day (10 Sept)

Please know that at times when you feel alone, your loved ones care about you and there is always someone you can talk to.  Farming Community Network operates their helpline between 7.00am – 11.00pm every day of the year.

03000 111999

FCN has a network of over 400 volunteers across England and Wales, many of whom are involved in farming, or have close links with agriculture, and therefore have a great understanding of the issues that farmers, farm workers and farming families regularly face.   Their volunteers provide free, confidential, pastoral and practical support to anyone who seeks help, regardless of whether the issue is personal or business-related.  Approximately 40 volunteers help with the running of the FCN helpline. Cases that come through the FCN helpline are usually referred to a local FCN volunteer, who will try and organise a face-to-face meeting with the person seeking help. It is entirely up to them how much support they need or want from FCN.

End of furlough: what you need to know

The Federation of Small Businesses has written a comprehensive article on its website which details what employers need to know as the Government’s furlough scheme comes to an end.   The article covers the job retention bonus, flexible furlough, changing employee’s contracts and alternatives to redundancy.   Visit this page to read the article.

Skills support for eligible small businesses

The Coventry & Warwickshire Skills 4 Growth project is managed by Coventry City Council, working in partnership with Warwickshire County Council and the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Growth Hub to deliver accredited training ranging from leadership and management through to technical and soft skills.  The focus is on the skills needs and gaps of a company, with customised packages developed to address business requirements and support business growth. 50% of the costs of agreed training could be funded, eligibility criteria applies.  To receive support companies must employ up to 250 people, be operating in a Coventry and Warwickshire postcode and be registered as a company working in a Manufacturing/Engineering sector or Service Sector Industry.  For further information please visit this page.  

Residential park home firm seeks land

Serenity Parks is extending its portfolio of parks and are looking for locations across the UK to develop new retirement communities.  Serenity Parks specialises in providing an ideal lifestyle for residents in later life, offering accessible yet high-end park homes in desirable locations across the UK.   For queries please contact their Planning Department on or telephone Free Phone 0800 644 4499, option 3.  Alternatively please visit this page for further information.

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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

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.

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