A PAIR of first-generation dairy farmers opened a new farm after securing a £130,000 funding package.

Deen Taylor and Hannah Williamson will use the money from HSBC UK to buy up to 120 dairy heifers.

The pair – a former master thatcher and childcare assistant – secured a 10-year farm tenancy on a site at Twyford, North Dorset, from Dorset County Council.

By milking the heifers in a year-round calving pattern, they will supply produce to Blackmore Vale Dairy, based in Shaftesbury, Deen Taylor said: “It’s an incredibly exciting time for Hannah and I to be opening a new dairy farm that will contribute to providing fresh produce to the local community at a time when the cost of living is increasing.

“Our relationship manager at the bank, Gary Horton, has been an absolute pleasure to work with and we are very grateful for all his support,” he added.

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As the business grows, the farmers are planning to bring in an apprentice, giving a local aspiring farmer the chance to gain work experience and training.

The pair also intend to work with local secondary schools and offer students the opportunity to use the farm for hands-on learning.

Gary Horton, agricultural relationship manager with HSBC UK, said: “HSBC UK is committed to helping small businesses.“We’re pleased to be supporting Deen and Hannah as they establish a new dairy farm which will help meet the demand for dairy products, whilst benefitting the local community and creating opportunities for the next generation of farmers.”

This funding was secured from the £15billion HSBC UK SME Fund.

The ring-fenced fund is for small and medium sized businesses to support local economies and increase employment across the UK.