Shires Farm is the location of the WFYFC County Office & Building. It once was just a dream, but the efforts of WFYFC members and supporters turned this dream into a reality...
Chapter 1: The Early 1990's
In the early 1990's a number of people became concerned by the antiquated building and the lack of YFC facilities at the old College of Agriculture, Hindlip. A Business Development Committee was formed to begin to investigate ways that WFYFC might have an alternative income other than from the normal fundraising methods. It was from this committee the dream came from.
Chapter 2: March 1993
An Extraordinary Executive Committee meeting was held where a video was shown of other county federations who already owned their own county building and to explore the possibilities for WFYFC to do the same. It was unanimously agreed by all present that this should be explored.
Chapter 3: January 1994
The Hawford site was found. Four trustees were appointed by the Executive Committee to oversee the purchase
- Francis Harcombe
- Lionel Hill MBE
- Malcolm Hodges, and
- Mark Yarnold
Chapter 4: June 1995
WFYFC completed the purchase of a partly constructed 5,000 sq. ft. portal frame building together with 30 acres of land at Hawford, near Worcester, at a cost of £88,500. This was purchased with the aid of a £65,000 loan from NatWest Bank.
Chapter 5: August 1994
WFYFC launched an appeal to raise £75,000. 1,750 letters were sent out to individuals, organisations and businesses requesting financial assistance. This appeal raised £55,000.
Chapter 6: September 1994
A planning application was submitted to Wychavon District Council for planning consent to convert 2,300 sq. ft. of the building into administration offices, meeting rooms, kitchen and toilets.
Chapter 7: November 1994 - April 1995
Landscaping/tree planting of the earth bunds took place, constructed to screen out the building from the Highway.
Chapter 8: April 1995
Planning approval was granted, subject to a 106 Agreement restricting any further development on the site, unless planning permission could be obtained to contract a new access drive directly onto the A449.
Chapter 9: June 1995
The Building Trustees began exploratory talks with the Highways Agency, neighbours and others with regards to a new access.
Chapter 10: June 1995 - September 1996
Fundraising activities continue with raffles, fashion shows, dinner dances, progressive suppers etc. together with writing to various grant awarding bodies. This resulted in £120,000 being raised.
Chapter 11: February 1997 - October 1997
In February, building work commenced to convert the 2,300 sq. ft. of existing building into the WFYFC County Office, meeting room and facilities, which are what WFYFC use today. This was completed in October.
Chapter 12: 8th November 1997
The WFYFC County Building was officially opened by Lord Sandys.
Chapter 13: 1997 - 2003
Negotiations continue with the Highways Agency and neighbours to find a way of providing a new access point onto the A449, which would allow development of the remaining 2,700 sq. ft. of existing building. After seven long years planning consent was granted for the new access drive and to convert the remaining part of the building into four self-contained offices.
Chapter 14: January 2004 - December 2004
Quotations were obtained for the construction of the roadway and the building work for the new offices. A budget for the overall project indicated that the total cost would be £350,000.
Chapter 15: January 2005
The Building Trustees approached Defra for funding through the Rural Enterprise Scheme and WFYFC was invited to submit a detailed bid requesting a grant of £200,000 towards the overall cost. This was subsequently granted.
Chapter 16: February 2005 - September 2005
Highway Agency contractors working on the re-alignment of the A449 constructed the new entrance to Shires Farm, resulting in a £10,000 saving.
Chapter 17: May 2005
The remaining balance of £150,000 for completion of the overall project was provided with a preferential bank loan from NatWest Bank.
Chapter 18: January 2006 - December 2006
Building work commenced to construct and convert the remaining part of the building into four self-contained office units. These were completed in December.
Chapter 19: January 2007 - to date
With the building work complete plans were put into place to rent the four office units to help provide WFYFC with an alternative income source, other than through normal fundraising methods. This continues to be an ongoing project, as businesses re-locate.
Rental of the meeting rooms within the County Building help to cover the general maintenance costs of the County Building and farm land. If you are interested in hiring either of the meeting rooms please click here.
WFYFC members and supporters continue to use normal fundraising methods, and Building Trustees continue to approach grant awarding bodies to raise the remaining £150,000 needed to re-pay the NatWest bank loan. Once this has been repaid, any funds raised through the rental of the office units will be used by WFYFC to help secure its future. An example of this is to help pay the salary of a qualified Youth Worker. If you are interested in supporting WFYFC in raising funds to re-pay the bank loan please contact County Office to enquire about how you can help.