We’ve had a busy summer at local and county shows from Cornwall to Yorkshire! And we always like to reflect on what these shows mean to us and the impact they have on our local and rural communities.
Not only do these shows offer a fun day out for the family, they play a huge role in the lives of the local farmers, producers and rural professionals. The Royal Cornwall Show, for example, pulled in over 110,000 visitors to their three-day show this year, and it’s no surprise why these shows are so popular. It gives businesses that extra boost to kick start their busy summer in this glorious tourist hotspot.
With the number of high street shops still in decline, these events are crucial for the livelihood of our communities. The Local Lending Movement is all about keeping our local towns, villages and communities thriving. By lending through FOLK2FOLK our investors are helping local and rural businesses get the financial boost they need to grow, develop or diversify which contributes to the creation and sustainability of successful local and rural economies.
We’d like to thank all our customers and friends for coming to visit us at our various stands this year, it is always lovely to have a catch up!
As we, and thousands of visitors, enjoy our beautiful countryside this autumn Claire Thayers asks us to think of the farmers who work and maintain it while considering what we can all do to help.
With winter coming there is nothing nicer than a walk in the country, enjoying the beautiful views and changing colours whatever the weather and then the delight of a hearty, warming stew in the local pub next to a roaring log firetingly fingers warming on a mulled glass of local cider….just the perfect weekend in my opinion! We love it and so do tourists… no wonder so many visitors flock to see us all year round! We’re so lucky to live in this beautiful country, but do we just take it all for granted?
The real question is: if we value the visitor economy shouldn’t we stop and think about the important caretaking role and contribution our farmers make to the alluring ‘countryside experience’? They manage our countryside, they rear and grow our diverse and delicious local produce, essential for us and a lure to those who visit; spending money in our market towns and villages, the local B&B and village pub – all small businesses at the heart of our communities who employ local people.
Sitting by that pub fire, it’s easy to forget that every day, 365 days a year, the cattle, sheep, pigs and chickens all need to be fed whatever the weather, the work that our arable farmers put into harvesting every year: the vegetables and fruit that have to be dug and picked. The work that goes into laying our hedges, managing our woodland, taking care of our wildlife, and ultimately taking care of our countryside for future generations.
It’s what makes our country so beautiful and makes us all proud!
With an uncertain future, should we just sit back and expect our farmers to continue to do what they have always done? Or can we help them to diversify to create truly sustainable businesses? To create employment for our youngsters, to keep our children in the local schools, keep the local pub open and the high streets vibrant.
We can all help! Whether that’s ‘buying local’ and contributing to your local economy or ‘investing local’ through FOLK2FOLK to provide farm and rural businesses with the finance they require to grow, develop or diversify while you earn a great 6.5% p.a interest rate!
So, this weekend as you sit by that fire in your local pub, check out our website on your smartphone and find out more about The Local Lending Movement. You CAN make a difference!
Capital at risk. No FSCS.
by Claire Thayers, FOLK2FOLK Corporate & Community Engagement Manager
FOLK2FOLK Corporate & Community Engagement Manager, Claire Thayers, discusses why the visitor economy matters to the UK’s rural communities and how FOLK2FOLK is helping these businesses grow, develop and diversify.
Do you ever stop to think about the importance of the Visitor Economy and how it affects you, your business and local area?
I’ve always struggled with the word ‘tourism’ as most people automatically think of hotels, pubs, local attractions, whilst many businesses simply don’t think of themselves as part of that industry.… but say “Visitor Economy” and it might just change your point of view.
To help encourage revenues and investment into the Visitor Economy, we should aim to make our regions, counties, towns and villages wonderful places to work rest and play and manage them as their own brands. VisitCornwall is one example of how branding a region can work successfully.
One positive example of how towns can take advantage of the Visitor Economy and create a global brand is Cheltenham, with the global spectacle that is the Cheltenham Festival. Taking place in mid-March every year, this annual event run by The Jockey Club helps bring in over £100m in revenues to Cheltenham and the wider Gloucestershire economy as well as creating new jobs and revenues streams for local residents.
With over 100,000 people visiting Cheltenham during the week, many of the town’s local businesses from hotels, bars, restaurants and shops benefit hugely as consumers spend large sums during the week. Additionally, many residents benefit from renting their homes as there is a huge demand in accommodation with a lack of beds during the week. This is an opportunity for local and rural businesses owners to diversify into services that support the Festival.
Moving on from horse racing, another example is education and how universities, colleges and schools are actually a key part of the Visitor Economy as they attract domestic and foreign students who all spend money in their local area. The more money spent into the local economy has to be good for us all, especially the local businesses that benefit, be it coffee shops, pubs, clothing stores, hotels, local grocers, gyms etc. Oxford, Cambridge, Warwick and Durham are great examples of how towns maximise their educational institutions to boost their economies by attracting visitors.
If we can help to support the Visitor Economy through buying local and visiting local attractions, we can help enable businesses to grow, develop and diversify as they look to re-invest in their enterprises.
The Visitor Economy is therefore a powerful force for positive transformation and financial sustainability as towns, villages and areas attract more people as they become more popular and attractive. Local people in those areas will want to sustain revenue flows year-on-year, meaning they will want to continue to improve their businesses and surroundings to attract more people to visit and spend in their area.
By encouraging rural businesses likes farms to diversify into the Visitor Economy, they can create sustainable new ventures that are attractive to domestic and foreign visitors. The impact is enormous, but it’s important that we provide the fishing rod and not the fish.
For more info on how the VisItor Economy is key to local areas, watch our video on Folkonomics by our CEO Giles Cross
Important Information:Your capital is at risk and is not protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. FOLK2FOLK Limited (Company Registration No. 08178576) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 720867). Our registered office address is NUMBER ONE Business Centre, Western Road, Launceston, Cornwall, PL15 7FJ.
Your property against which the loan is secured could be at risk if you don’t meet payments. FOLK2FOLK Limited (Company Registration No. 08178576) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 720867). Our registered office address is NUMBER ONE Business Centre, Western Road, Launceston, Cornwall, PL15 7FJ.