A trust fund for young people in north Northumberland and the Borders is open for business.
Launched to mark the 200th anniversary of the Border Union Agricultural Society (BUAS) in 2013, it has been set up to grant bursaries to young entrepreneurs.
The bursaries will be granted to young people to help them develop skills that will benefit the area.
The scheme will apply to chefs, dykers, managers, foresters, those involved in the environment, conservation, rural tourism, horticulture, equestrianism, rural crafts, country sports and all the professions that contribute to the landscape and rural economy of the area.
Lord James Joicey, vice-president of the BUAS, said: “Support will be given to young people who are motivated to look into the wider world to develop skills that will allow them to seize opportunities presented by the area’s rural economy
“These young people will be able to enhance either their vocational skills or their wider management capacity and demonstrate real entrepreneurship to the benefit of this area.
“The wide spectrum of activity within our rural economy means that the list of possible avenues is endless.
“There are many options for professional and vocational development, ranging from managerial and vocational skills, rural leadership and opportunities overseas.”
Jonny McCririck, BUAS chairman, added: “Thanks to the generosity of estates, farmers and other businesses across the Borders, the fund is healthy and is designed to run for many years.
“It will provide a wide scale of financial support, from modest schemes to the more ambitious, and it reflects one of the Society’s main objectives: that of encouraging improvement.”
An awards panel has been set up and will meet this month, as well as November and March each year to study and assess applications.
Bursaries will be awarded to those aged at least 22, living in the area covered by BUAS (the Tweed basin) and who are in employment. Only in exceptional circumstances will applications be considered from students currently in full-time or part-time education.
For details, terms and conditions about the fund, email firstname.lastname@example.org