A Stratford-upon-Avon entrepreneur has invested £20,000 to develop her woodland, orchards and parklands into an tourist attraction.
Olivia Hatch, who runs the 20-acre Talton Lodge in Newbold-on-Stour, wants to offer a sustainable venue for meetings, team building and entertainment on her land.
The project, which enjoyed a £7,000 worth of funding from the Rural Enterprise Grant (REG) scheme is expected to help the operation double its turnover in 2010.
The improvements are the latest part of Ms Hatch’s plans to transform the family home into one of the West Midlands’ most attractive corporate venues and this has already resulted in new clients and four part-time jobs.
She said: “Our vision is to provide a completely sustainable experience, with the refurbished barn part of a small complex of farm buildings, tipis, bell tents and yurts – all created to have minimal impact on the land. Most of the food we serve to guests has been grown or reared in the onsite smallholding, not to mention the range of activities we offer, such as canoeing, bicycling, bushcraft and archery.”
Ms Hatch used to work as a chef in London with Gary Rhodes and Fergus Henderson.
REGs are available for farmers and micro businesses developing and diversifying into food and drink, environmental technologies and tourism improvements, with funding of up to 40 per cent, or £62,500, available.