£30k prize success for country park farm

AN organic farm in the heart of North Tyneside has been given £30,000 to allow it build a new stable block and expand its business.

The Rising Sun Farm Trust was awarded the sum by Spanish banking group Santander as part of a social enterprise development scheme.

Building new stables at the farm will enable it to generate more income from its livery business, and that increased revenue will be spent on expanding its countryside education services and leisure facilities.

Farm trust chairwoman Margaret Hall said: “Thanks to this Santander Award, we are able to look to the future, to develop our livery yard and invest in the work of the organic farm.”

The farm covers 175 acres within Benton’s Rising Sun Country Park.

The trust runs community initiatives including educating people about farming and environmental issues and a day centre for people with learning difficulties.

As well as the money, the trust will receive support from Santander, including mentoring programmes and funding for internships and training.

Craig Illey, corporate regional director at the bank, said: “The Rising Sun Farm Trust has an excellent business track record, and it is making a significant impact on the local community.”