Worcestershire County Council's LEADER programme has awarded Astley Vineyard £50,000 for the construction and equipping of a visitor centre and winery.
In July 2017, local family of four, the Haywoods, bought the business and have since worked tirelessly to modernise the vineyard just outside Stourport-on-severn.
The construction of a brand new visitor centre has now been completed with a shop and area for tasting and tours, and the family have now moved wine production in house.
Tim Haywood, Owner of Astley Vineyard said: "The LEADER funding has been instrumental in enabling us to make transformational changes to our business. We have been able to build a centre that does justice to the quality of the wine. The development of this building has enabled us to open up the vineyard to visitors and will give us the flexibility to experiment with our wine as we can now bring production in house.
"The financial sustainability of our business has been significantly improved, and we are now able to employ an additional 2 fulltime members of staff with plans for further, small scale job creation.
"I would, without hesitation, encourage people thinking about applying to LEADER to do so. The staff go out of their way to help you through the process, and have been huge supporters of our project throughout."
The team at Astley Vineyard has seen an immediate and sizeable increase in visitor numbers, and are on track for more than 1,200 visitors in their first full year of operation.
The final round of LEADER funding closes on 21st September 2018. If you have a great idea to grow your rural business or make a difference in your community please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01905 846872.
LEADER is part of the Rural Development Programme for England and is delivered locally by Worcestershire County Council and the Worcestershire Local Action Group on behalf of Defra.
The focus of the LEADER programme is on growing the economies of rural communities by enabling local people to identify and implement solutions to local problems.
The project has received funding from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development under the Rural Development Programme for England. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is the Managing Authority for the Rural Development Programme for England.
To find out more about Astley Vineyard, please visit their website at: https://www.astleyvineyard.co.uk/
For more information on the Leader Programme, please contact LEADER@worcestershire.gov.uk