Brand new café launches thanks to an investment from Essex Rivers LEADER fund of £86k


Calcott Hall Farm Café in Ongar Road, Brentwood, is the brand new venture for the farm which adds to the current farm shop and play area.  The café was opened on 11th October 2016 by the Mayor of Brentwood Borough Council, Cllr Noelle Hones, and Nick Charrington, Chairman of Rural Community Council of Essex.


The project to rebuild and extend an unused barn at Calcott Hall Farm has cost in the region of £250,000 and will generate six new jobs for local people.  It was made possible thanks to a grant from the Essex Rivers LEADER programme of £86,104.


Mayor of Brentwood, Councillor Noelle Hones, said: "I was delighted to help open Calcott Hall Farm Café, one of the first projects by Essex Rivers LEADER programme in Brentwood, which marks an important milestone in co-operation between Brentwood and the Rural Community Council of Essex (RCCE).

“I am always delighted to see disused barns be brought back into use, and this particular barn conversion will provide a much needed facility and jobs for local people; it will also give a welcome boost to a much admired local business."


Peter McTurk, who has managed the project for Calcott Hall Farm, said: “We are thrilled to have been able to open this café as our customers have been asking for one for a while now.  Until the Essex Rivers LEADER grant came along we couldn’t see how we could manage to deliver the facility, but with their help, it has now become a reality and we are very excited about the future of this café.”


This is the first completed project for the Essex Rivers Local Action Group which was set up to distribute EU funding to rural businesses and organisations in parts of Essex.  The aim of the grant is to help boost growth and create jobs in the countryside and the group is made up of local representatives from rural businesses and public bodies.


Robert Davidson, Chairman of the Essex Rivers Local Action Group said: “We are delighted to see that the grant from Essex Rivers LEADER programme has enabled the successful launch of Calcott Hall Farm Café. It’s a great project which will create 6 jobs for local people and growth for the farm business which are the main aims of the LEADER grant.”


The Essex Rivers LEADER programme is managed by Rural Community Council of Essex (RCCE) whose Chairman, Nick Charrington, commented: “The success of the very first grant made by the Essex Rivers LEADER programme is testament to the hard working team behind the scenes. This café will enable jobs for local people, growth of a local business and a fantastic new destination for visitors. At RCCE, we are very proud to have been involved with this programme.”


Beverly Davies, LEADER Programme Manager, added: “You don’t have to be a business to apply; if you are a farmer, smallholder, forester or are involved in local tourism, you may be eligible for a grant. Just contact me and I will let you know if you are eligible to apply for money to support your project.”