A trust fund to help ambitious young entrepreneurs on both sides of the border will open for business again early in 2014.
The fund, launched to mark the 200th anniversary of the Border Union Agricultural Society, has been set up to grant bursaries to entrepreneurs in the Scottish Borders and north Northumberland.
So far, the fund has raised over £160,000 which the Society is investing through fund managers Brewin Dolphin.
Bursaries from the fund will be granted to young people to help them develop skills that will benefit the area.
The first award was announced at the Border Union Show in July, in association with the world-famous chef Albert Roux, to the top student from the Borders College chef school.
Paulo Neves from Melrose has recently begun six months of training at the five star Gleneagles Hotel under principal chef Andrew Fairlie, who is the only holder of two Michelin stars in Scotland.
The intention is to grant more bursaries this year.
“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 rural economy of the Borders and north Northumberland,” said Lord Joicey, vice president of the Border Union Agricultural Society.
“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 the list of possible avenues is endless. There are many options for both professional and vocational development, ranging from managerial and vocational skills, rural leadership and opportunities overseas.”
Lord Joicey added: “The society strongly believes that this is a scheme which everyone connected with farming and the rural economy of the Borders and north Northumberland will support to the fullest extent.
“The society will announce details of how to apply for bursaries soon, and in the meantime further donations towards the investment fund, are of course always welcome.”