Useful Academy Information

If you are interested in attending an academy the following information may be useful:

  • The academies usually run over a period of 2 to 3 months with a mix of evening and day time meetings covering 8 – 10 sessions.  Each sessions normally lasts about 2.5 – 3 hours.
  • Open to anyone aged 18 and over – no upper age limit
  • Academies are open to those from farming and non-farming backgrounds but you need to be at a stage where you are looking to go into businesses or develop/diversify an existing one.
  • We work on business skills of all types – not practical/technical farming
  • Areas frequently covered by academies : Business planning, financing your business, accounts and record keeping, supply chains, markets local, national and international influences, communication skills, presenting business case, negotiation, innovative approaches – joint ventures, different business models. All of these are delivered by a wide range of industry professionals and supported by actual business case studies. Visits to local farms and businesses are also part of the academy experience.
  • If you are accepted on the academy you are expected to attend all the sessions.
  • We work with local steering groups of industry professionals to ensure the programmes cover the Fresh Start principles but are then tailored to specific groups and areas.
  • Business Recognition – Fresh Start Land Enterprise Centre is an accredited member of UK Rural Skills (
  • Group size is normally a maximum of 20 per academy.
  • Each academy has a local co-ordinator which will be your main point of contact before and during delivery of the academy course.