Prince of bales: Prince Charles aims to train a new generation of young farmers

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Plans have been submitted to East Ayrshire Council, which is due to make a decision next month.

Aim is to pass on traditional rural skills

A design statement submitted by The Prince’s Foundation to the local authority said: “The underlying principle is to bring new talent into the farming and rural sector, specifically targeting those with no current connection to it.

“In addition, programmes will continue to promote the wider principle of encouraging people to enjoy the benefits of spending time in the countryside.

“Delivery would be hands-on and practical, allowing students to immerse themselves in their subject area, giving them maximum opportunity to grow their knowledge, skills and passion for the industry.

“The aim of the courses would be to ignite interest in potential careers and further study pathways to higher level qualifications and specialisms.

“The Prince’s Foundation also recognises the need to pass on traditional and rural skills (hedge-laying, dry-stone walling, fencing, drainage, butchery etc) within the existing workforce.

“Target groups include secondary school pupils aged 14 plus, school leavers showing an interest in land-based careers, adult learners looking for a new career as well as farming and rural sector workers looking to upskill.

“Across the programmes, and including pupil events and sector workshops, the aim is to engage within the region of 1,800 individuals across a given year.”

The proposals are for the construction of a new single-storey education building comprising classrooms and ancillary accommodation, with a large shed alongside to be used as a demonstration space with livestock holding.

The Prince of Wales, a longtime champion of farmers and rural issues, led a consortium of charities and the Scottish Government to save Dumfries House “for the nation” with a last-ditch £45 million purchase in 2007, with his own charitable foundation contributing £20 million.

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