Horticultural artists benefit from New Forest LEADER grant scheme
New Forest farmers, foresters and rural businesses are benefiting from a £1.4 million EU* grant scheme.
The New Forest LEADER Local Action Group, in partnership with New Forest District Council, has recently awarded a £45,000 LEADER grant to Tiptoe based wholesale nursery and horticultural artist Agrumi Ltd.
Agrumi are custom topiary, topiary frame and hedge sculpture experts - creating everything from a replica of Lady Gaga's stiletto shoes to designs incorporating wifi and 4G relay transmitters at this year's Glastonbury Festival. Closer to home, Agrumi created the life-sized topiary animals on show at Paultons Park.
LEADER funding for Agrumi means they can build a new, dedicated topiary workshop where the giant topiary structures will be created. The workshop will provide the business with the room to grow and to create an additional two full time jobs. Stanley Jackson, director of Agrumi Ltd said "the grant will be a game changer for us. We're a small firm with big ambitions. Our success so far has been built from hard work and good market knowledge. Now we're ready to move to the next level and LEADER is helping us achieve our goals".
Gerald Lewis, Chairman of the New Forest LEADER Local Action Group commented that "We are pleased to be able to offer financial support to an innovative and expanding local business like Agrumi. Despite the current uncertain economic outlook, we have been very encouraged by the steady stream of enquiries that the New Forest LEADER programme has been receiving from local companies looking to develop their products and services and grow their business. There are a lot of interesting and well researched projects coming forward, each of them representing an investment opportunity that could benefit the local economy for many years to come."
For further details of the LEADER programme and to check eligibility to apply for a grant please visit www.newforestleader.org.uk