FIDC’s Business Development Officer, Louise Ellis, visited West Falkland during the week of the 29th October. In a programme spread over four days, the goal was to promote and discuss the new RDS Action Plan, whilst visiting as many farms and meeting as many FIDC Development clients as possible.
Also visiting the West on this trip, Gordon Ackroyd, the FIDC Strategic Projects Manager went to view and discuss some of the FIDC-funded initiatives he had supported in his former role of Development Officer. This was also an ideal opportunity to gauge the interest in projects such as farm benchmarking, ‘Farm to Farm Business’ enterprise training, and other broader FIDC/FIG aspirations - like increased labour supply, across-Islands logistics, and rural energy.
Visits included Sheffield, Westley, Fox Bay residents and farms, Port Stevens settlement and Port Edgar, and the Jamieson’s thriving rural enterprise at South Harbour. High on the agenda were improvements to water and renewable energy systems, improvements to buildings and general infrastructure as well as wider crosscutting issues such as the need for additional labour in Camp and worker housing.
Donna ably represented the Evans’s at Spring Point, with two family members now happily recovering from the ordeal of car accidents that remind us all how remote and challenging life on the West can be.
An hour of rigorous off road driving guided by Deidre and Gavin Marsh led to Philomel Farm’s new-build workers’ housing, hosted by Rachel and Scott Short, who were keen to discuss the progress made at the farm and their plans for further infrastructure improvements.
Later in the trip, Hill Cove gave a chance to discuss ferries, roads and jetties with Gordon and Bella Innes, plus a very brief tanneries chat with Henry Boughton.
Justin Knight – though not ‘at home’ at Leicester Creek - was as ever busy on the West’s roads – hard work much appreciated by the FIDC team and their truck.
A few hundred miles of driving, and many hours of talk (fuelled with quantities of wonderful cakes and tea) – brought the specific needs of the far reaches of the Islands into focus for Louise and Gordon.
These visits are important to the Corporation, allowing FIDC to engage with Camp businesses, to monitor the progress of projects the organisation has supported, and to plan new initiatives. The openness and generosity of the many Camp residents seen, and their help with accommodation and refreshments, made this trip a pleasure, and a success.