Lewis Moss from the Wensleydale Heifer tells of obtaining grants with RedSky’s help and advice.
Extending the Wensleydale Heifer
We had purchased a property next door to the Wensleydale Heifer which we wanted to develop into four en-suite bedrooms. In the Dales we have long seasons – it runs from Easter to the end of October – and at peak times, we are very often at full capacity. In fact our average is around 80% throughout the year. We only had nine rooms at the Heifer before and this extension has given us an extra four rooms (that’s around 40% increase) and that’s made a huge difference to us.
RedSky made it possible
Following a referral from my manager at Barclays, we spoke initially to Peter Beresford at RedSky who gave us information about possible grants. He introduced us to his colleague Steve Gledhill. Right from the first meeting, Steve was very prompt, efficient and helpful. We applied for two grants – a big grant and a smaller grant were both available to us. Although we would have qualified for the larger grant, the time scale didn’t fit in with what we wanted to do, so Steve suggested that we went for the smaller grant which we did. The money we received was invaluable – it enabled us to complete the work to the quality and the high standard that we wanted. We wouldn’t have been able to achieve this without it.
The process was simple
Although we qualified for the grant, of course there are never any guarantees that you’re going to get it. Working with Steve certainly simplified the process. He spent quite some time with us and did the majority of the application work on our behalf. As he was familiar with this type of work, I suppose it was relatively straightforward for him. Without his help, it would have been much, much more difficult and time-consuming for us – with no guarantee that we would have got any money at the end.
Help was always on hand for us
We met Steve on numerous occasions, in various places, here, his office, and even mid-way in Bedale in a coffee bar! We spent quite some time with him – and I know he spent a great deal more time on our behalf. The important thing is that he was always available for us – and that’s absolutely essential with a complicated project like this. And he achieved what we were looking to achieve – and that’s the measure of the success of the project. The way he approached the matter helped to speed up the process and helped us obtain the grant as well. If he hadn’t been so efficient, this would have just extended the period of application and made it far more complicated. And we may have missed the boat – everything is time-critical.
I know I must sound like I’m related to them (I’m not!) – but I can’t think of any way that RedSky could improve their services. I’m sure that Steve may be able to help us in the future and we’d be happy to take advantage of his expertise. Our priority at the moment is to complete the building work on the extension and have the rooms ready for occupation this summer.