Ready for growth at Winchcombe Farm
“The SSG programme allowed me to sit back and work through my plans for the business with Andy and make informed decisions on how we move forward."
Winchcombe Farm Holidays, based in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in south Warwickshire, has protected existing jobs and has an eye on creating new ones after participating in Warwickshire County Council’s Survive, Sustain and Grow programme.
The Survive, Sustain and Grow programme is part of the county council's £6million COVID-19 Recovery Plan and was launched by the council in light of the pandemic to support businesses in the tourism, hospitality and retail sectors.
Like many businesses in Warwickshire, Winchcombe Farm Holidays owner Jo Carrol has been impacted by Covid-19 and her growing business, in Upper Tysoe, was forced to close for the lockdowns, losing around 80 weeks of income on their holiday rentals.
Since 2018, Jo has diversified her farm location into five holiday units, one of which is a highly original tree house. Jo already employs 10 staff and approached the council to participate in the programme to seek help from one of the Survive, Sustain and Grow specialist consultants.
Jo worked with Andy Woodward, who has over 30 years’ experience in the tourism and hospitality sector and is one of WCC’s appointed consultants. Andy and Jo were able to devise a strategy to protect existing jobs, maximise their opportunities and create new jobs in the future.
Additionally, a much-focused marketing plan was agreed that would enable the business to attract a wider market of new guests and encourage previous guests to return. Importantly, they also identified the opportunity to hire a new administration team member, to allow Jo to work on the wider business and her marketing programme.
Jo Carrol said: “The SSG programme allowed me to sit back and work through my plans for the business with Andy and make informed decisions on how we move forward. We have a sixth cottage in planning which should be open for the summer of 2021, and the new plan will help drive business onsite while also supporting the local village shops, pubs and attractions in the area.”
Andy Woodward commented: “This is a terrific local business and offers employment to local staff. Ensuring the long-term success of the business will maintain the existing jobs as well as delivering further recruitment opportunities in the future.”
Jagdish Soor, Lead Consultant for the The Survive, Sustain and Grow programme, said: "This programme is an excellent initiative funded by Warwickshire County Council and is proving a terrific success. Being able to assist businesses like Winchcombe Farm Holidays not only secures their future but also provides much wider benefits for the local economy and supply chain.”