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The Chalet - Holidays for All - Our First Project Complete

A Dunbar farm has been the first to diversify through Tyne Esk LEADER 2014-20.  West Meikle Pinkerton, owned by James and Kay Gilchrist, received funding last autumn for a holiday chalet fit out for disabled/less able holiday makers.  The project is now complete and the applicants taking bookings.                

Kay Gilchrist commented: 

You must have been delighted when you were awarded the grant.  How did you feel when you got the news?

Speechless!  We couldn’t believe that we had actually got it! There was also a sense of relief.  We had been told numerous times that it was a great idea but we were nervous that we wouldn’t actually be offered anything from Leader.

What was the thinking behind the project – was there a personal motivation?

We had thought about building a chalet before and when we looked at other places for ideas it became clear that very few provided accessible accommodation, or, if they did, it was a ramp, that was all.  We decided that we wanted to cater for everyone, which meant providing a safe, non-clinical environment for everyone to enjoy. By being granted the Leader funding we were able to make this happen as we would not have managed to provide such good facilities without it.

Now that the project is complete, when will it be open for bookings?

It is open now - our website is open and accepting bookings.  We had our official launch on Saturday 29th April.

What does the project mean for you at West Meikle Pinkerton?

We now have the opportunity to provide a holiday home for families to get away from their normal life and have an enjoyable holiday with facilities to ensure a stress free stay.  We would love to see our guests coming into the farm to experience farm life and enjoy the local countryside, which is not something that many people have the chance to do.  We are looking forwards to the future and to welcoming our guests to life at West Meikle Pinkerton.  

What support have you received and would you recommend the fund to other farmers?

We would definitely encourage other farmers to apply.  We managed to complete all the paperwork ourselves which was difficult on occasions but having Neil and Dawne just an email or phone call away made it much easier.

NFUS representative of Tyne Esk LEADER Local Action Group (LAG) Kerry Clark commented

“If any farmers are looking to diversify or develop their business, this could be the scheme for you. I would encourage anyone with an idea, no matter how big or small or how developed, to get in touch and find out more.”

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