Business board grant funding to help vineyard meet growing taste for English wine

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A south Cambridgeshire vineyard whose primary revenue stream was reduced to zero when the Covid-19 pandemic hit is bouncing back thanks to support from the Business Board.

Chilford Hall Vineyard derived at least 90 per cent of its income to public tours which included a meal and wine sales. But for 18 months from the start of the pandemic, that revenue was reduced to zero.

Business Board member Faye Holland visited the vineyard to see how grant funding has helped it to expand its winemaking capacity in a bid to adapt and grow the business in the face of what has been a seismic shock.

Chilford Hall recognised the opportunity to offer a contract wine making service to the rising amount of growers throughout East Anglia over recent years. More and more land is being turned over to viticulture – the growing and harvesting of grapes – with growers encouraged by the increasingly favourable conditions for wine, and the growing reputation of English vintages.

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With funding from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, Plunkett is currently able to offer early-stage community businesses free advice and support on how to get their business off the ground, including guidance on community engagement, legal structures, business planning and raising the funds to do it.