NEWTON Rigg Ltd, the educational charity established in the wake of the closure of the Newton Rigg College campus near Penrith in 2021, has announced it has ceased trading and gone into voluntary liquidation.

The company offered rural advice, training, education and knowledge transfer from its base near Penrith.

It was set up to bring back land-based education in Cumbria, however it suffered losses from its involvement in running the Equine Centre on the campus, which closed in April of this year.

At the time the company said: "Despite working closely with the landlord and the equine team for the last year to turnaround a financially unviable part of Newton Rigg, it is with heavy hearts that the board cannot see a sustainable future for this aspect of the charity."

These losses, said the board, have had a knock-on effect on the financial health of the whole organisation.

Recently it has struggled to gain sufficient funding to make the business viable, despite seeking support from key organisations that share the company's aims and values.

The board said they were disappointed that they were not able to continue to pursue their vision for an excellent rural training hub near Penrith, offering support to Cumbrian farmers and land-based businesses to develop and grow.

They said that over the last few years they were proud to have provided programmes covering everything from upskilling dairy and sheep farmers, to wellbeing courses helping to improve participants mental health.

In particular, courses in Horticulture had been successful and applications for 2024/25 were 'buoyant".

Rosalind Hilton, Licensed Insolvency Practitioner at Adcroft Hilton, who is advising the board, said: “Unfortunately, sustainable funding for this type of local training organisation is notoriously difficult.

“Following problems with a major project, the board continued to seek new support and funding but were unable to raise enough to cover the cash flow needed.

“The current directors would like to thank everyone who has been involved with the business for their support, from staff and students to those who helped raise funds to try to build a new centre for land based education in Cumbria.”