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Thu, 09 Jun 2011 2:06pm
Open Farm Sunday 2011 - 12th June

This weekend the LRP encourages you to get out and about and enjoy Open Farm Sunday.

Visit a farm on LEAF's Open Farm Sunday 12th June 2011 and discover how farmers grow your food and care for the countryside and its wildlife.

Across Leicestershire 6 farms will be welcoming visitors. These include

- Cotesbach Estate
Guided farm walks depart from the Stable Yard, Cotesbach, at 10.30am and 1.30pm. Sturdy footgear recommended. The Church is open all weekend with a Flower Festival and the Village Hall for teas. Songs of Praise 4pm. All welcome

- Gorse Hill Farm, Leicester
Farm open to the public. Opportunity to meet a variety of different animals.

- Hill Farm, Ashby de la Zouch
Farm animals including deer, bison,alpacas, mangalitza and tamworth red pigs and lambs. Shire horse. Craft activities and children's play area. Forest walks and talks. Farm machinery bygone to present day. Home produced food and cream teas are to be avialable on the day for a small charge.

- Little Markfield, Markfield
Come and enjoy seeing sheep being sheared, wool being spun, pig with piglets, cows with their babies and feed the lambs! There will farm walks, which are ideal ways to enjoy the peace and beauty of the countryside., Enjoy hot dogs and beef burgers using farm produce, homemade cakes and. For those of you who love machinery, there will be plenty of tractors and tools on show too! Also vintage tractors and machinery, over 30 crafts & food stalls, Meet Pen the Red-Tail Hawk, Pumpkin growing competition for the children, beer festival Sausage making, and much more.

- Manor Farm, Catthorpe
Join us at Manor Farm to discover life on a real working farm. This year we will be focusing on the life of beef cattle - who play a vital role on our farm. Learn about their life cycle, feed, different breeds and lots more. Meet the farmers, see the equipment, tour the farm and enjoy lots of actvities too. The event will run from 11am - 4pm. We are easy to find - look out for signage from the A5 and Catthorpe Interchange. Please wear appropriate footwear for a farm walk and sun hats if the sun is out! The tearoom will be open all day and we will also be having a BBQ using our own meat! No need to book - just turn up on the day!

- Whetstone Pastures Farm
Farm and woodland walks, trailer rides. Big machines! Little creatures! Fruit to pick, pizzas to make, cream teas and local food to enjoy - and gems to pan for! 10.30am to 4.30pm. Off A426 thre miles south of Blaby.

More information is available on the OFS 2011 website at www.farmsunday.org.

We hope you enjoy your farm visit.

Wed, 27 Apr 2011 4:22pm

Investors in People offers a practical, flexible and easy to use framework delivering business improvement through people. It is used by more than 30,000 organisations in over 50 countries - from start-ups to multinational organisations.

EMB Excellence Ltd (emb-x) delivers Investors in People across central England, have launched an exciting timetable of local events for those interested in finding out more about the benefits that Investors in People can bring to their organisation.

The proven framework can help:

• improve competitiveness
• clarify employees’ roles and responsibilities
• improve succession planning
• create a strong, organisational learning culture
• establish levels of managerial autonomy
• develop and train your people
• increase job satisfaction and motivation
• reduce workplace stress and employee turnover.

Stephen Smith on behalf of emb-x says “Working with Investors in People can bring many benefits to your business, both to your internal processes as well as your performance and profitability. It is well documented that those organisations that have achieved The Standard are more likely to have higher levels of product and service innovation”

Start your journey

To find out more about how Investors in People can benefit your business, contact the Investors in People Central England Centre on 0845 872 7727 email or visit www.iipcentralengland.co.uk

Seeking your views on refreshed Leicestershire Rural Framework priorities
Mon, 18 Apr 2011 12:33pm

We are seeking your views on our refreshed Priority Outcomes

We launched our third Leicestershire Rural Strategy at our bi-annual conference in 2007.

Since then the Strategy has been influential in a number of successful funding bids, including Vibrant Villages and INSPIRE Leicestershire it has supported many consultation responses and has helped us influence other organisations in their support of rural Leicestershire

Mrs Lesley Pendleton, Chairman of the Leicestershire Rural Partnership, said, "with new Government priorities, such as the Big Society, and reduced public sector funding, it is critical that, through consultation, we identify and agree rural Leicestershire's future priorities.

"My vision is for rural Leicestershire to be made up of thriving and safe communities, which have access to good employment opportunities, affordable housing and essential local services".

In order to ensure the LRP remains effective and fit-for-purpose we need to ensure our priorities reflect current issues faced by Leicestershire's communities and businesses. To ensure this we have scheduled a mid-Strategy refresh.

The LRP has launched a public consultation on the refreshed Leicestershire Rural Framework, 2011-14 which will be open until 30th June 2011.

The Framwork includes a number of priority outcomes arranged by the following theme chapters

1. Strong, safe and inclusive communities
2. Thriving economy
3. High quality and accessible services
4. Countryside and the environment

The full consultation document of the Leicestershire Rural Framework, 2011-14 and a questionnaire to guide you in your respective responses is available on the LRP's Oakleaves website. Please click the title to this news item.

We welcome comments from all residents, businesses and organisations who live or work within rural Leicestershire.

For more information please contact Matthew Kempson on 0116 305 6179

Funding available to boost business skills
Fri, 15 Apr 2011 10:59am

Stephen Smith, CEO of EMB Ltd, the leading enterprise and economic development company that delivers a range of business improvement services, welcomed the announcement of a business boosting initiative by Skills Minister John Hayes. "The Leadership and Management development grant scheme is a great opportunity for senior leaders of locally based small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). It will enable them to take advantage of funding that will support leadership and management training to help them grow their businesses."
Around 13,000 small and medium sized businesses and social enterprises that demonstrate a potential for growth will benefit from the Leadership and Management development grant. This will help stimulate innovation and employment, boosting the economy and helping develop a bigger and more cohesive society.
Stephen Smith continues, "We are responsible for delivering business improvement services right across the across Central England area, and we hope that many organisations in the local area (which includes the East and West Midlands and East of England) will engage with us to make the most of this initiative to boost their business, and in turn, the local economy."
A match funded grant of up to £1,000 is available to be spent on leadership training and coaching that helps grow the business, improving productivity and competitiveness. The programme also includes a free consultation with an expert adviser before the training commences, as well as a free follow-up to discuss the impact of the training and any further skills needs.
Skills Minister, John Hayes said:
“This Government will back businesses that want to boost their skills. We’re spending more than ever on apprenticeships, freeing up training providers from red tape, and focusing public spending where it is most needed to drive growth. Effective leadership can make the difference between survival and growth, and this fund will give vital support to entrepreneurs who want to continue to develop their businesses.”
Geoff Russell, Chief Executive, Skills Funding Agency added:
"This fund will help many leaders of small and medium sized enterprises grow their business through harnessing the talents of their staff. Skills are critical to the future development of businesses. By offering a helping hand to thousands of organisations we expect to see more leaders develop the skills they need to help their businesses achieve their potential."
The fund will be promoted directly to businesses by the regional Leadership and Management Advisory Service and is available starting this month. SME leaders should contact the Leadership and Management Advisory Service on 0845 894 8969 or email lmas@embltd.co.uk to book their free personal leadership and management assessment.
To find out if your organisation can benefit from the initiative, contact the Leadership and Management Advisory Service Helpline on 0845 894 8969 or email

Thu, 24 Mar 2011 3:12pm

Nearly 13,000 Leicestershire households are at risk from river flooding and more homes are at risk from surface water and flash flooding. Be prepared, come along to a Flood Fair in the Members Lounge at County Hall on Tuesday 29th March 2011.

The Fair will include displays and demonstrations by local flood defence businesses and organisations including the National Flood Forum, Severn Trent Water and the Environment Agency.

Get advice and information about flooding that is relevant to you. Including:

  • What flooding risks there are in your area
  • How to protect your home
  • What to do in an emergency
  • How to get help
  • The Flood Warden scheme

The Flood Fair will be open to all members of the public and staff from 1pm to 7pm. More information on flooding and Emergency Management can be found on the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Local Resilience Forum website.

Climate Friendly Communities Grant
Thu, 17 Mar 2011 1:33pm

The Growing Climate Friendly Communities Grant is now available for communities who want to progress with an environmental project. Grants of £1,000 to £10,000 are available. The deadline for applications is 15th April 2011, and projects need to be complete by February 2012.
Any community groups, charity or school involving themselves in a climate friendly project can apply.
For further information and an application form please e-mail: or ring Sophie on 01773 539426 / 07525 225023.

Help to keep your business on track … new online tools launched
Tue, 01 Mar 2011 10:42am

Free tools to help the region's 306,985 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) get their business records ship shape have been launched by Business Link and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The four new products are suitable for the self employed, sole traders and small businesses. They have been produced in advance of the launch of HMRC’s new Business Record Checks programme later this year, which will impose penalties for significant record-keeping failures.

There is something for everyone – from basic factsheets to online tools:

  • Keeping records for business - what you need to know: a basic guide with a helpful list of where to get more information. www.hmrc.gov.uk/factsheet/record-keeping.pdf
  • A general guide to keeping records for your tax return: detailed guidance on record-keeping covering what type of records you may have to keep, common problems and examples for different types of business. www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa/rk-bk1.pdf
  • Set up a basic record-keeping system: with examples of spreadsheets and information about setting up a record-keeping system. www.businesslink.gov.uk/recordkeeping
  • Find out what records you should be keeping: looks at the records you need to keep and assesses how well you are keeping them. If you are thinking of starting business the tool provides you with a checklist. If you are established it will give feedback and advice on improvements you may need to make. www.businesslink.gov.uk/recordkeepingcheck
Fri, 25 Feb 2011 3:15pm

An event is being held at Leicester's De Montfort Hall on Wednesday 23rd March to explore the business opportunity of the low carbon economy for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
It will provide information on the Government's "Green Deal for Business", the new "Climate Change" strategic planning document and showcase examples of how local businesses are seizing the business opportunities of the low carbon economy.

Fri, 04 Feb 2011 2:03pm

Leicestershire has some fantastic green spaces. If you feel strongly about green space in your local area, the County Council wants to hear from you.
The Coalition Government is giving local people a greater say in the future planning of their neighbourhoods and is thinking about creating a new designation to protect green areas of particular importance to local communities.
The County Council is asking for residents' views to help them develop future policies and proposals for protecting and enhancing green spaces. This is your opportunity to tell us which areas are particularly important to you and why.
You can take part by attending your local Community Forum and by making comments on an online interactive map. More details are available on the Leicestershire County Council greenspaces web page.

Wed, 02 Feb 2011 3:07pm

Could you help drive Leicester and Leicestershire's future prosperity?

The Business Council are seeking nominations for members to the Local Enterprise Partnership Board for Leicester and Leicestershire.

This new partnership will develop a robust local economic strategy to improve the performance of our economy and guide economic development and regeneration across our City and County.

For more information about these stimulating and rewarding new positions please e-mail Lesley Dexter for an information pack.

Or view the invitation for Private Sector Board Members through the Leicester Mercury's job pages

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