A Nottinghamshire farm where people with disabilities benefit from valuable life experience could be expanded.

The £350,000 investment from the County Council to Brooke Farm will allow more job opportunities and increase the range of work experience available to trainees.

The council run farm north of Hucknall supports people with learning disabilities and Asperger’s Syndrome to gain life and gardening skills through growing seasonal produce and plants.

Trainees are offered paid work and farming activities to enhance their well being, confidence and quality of life.

Fresh produce sold on the farm.

It is also hoped the investment will transform the farm into a destination venue for families and attract more customers, which in turn will make the service more financially sustainable for the long-term.

Audio: Regular costumer Sarah Abraham feels positive about the expansion. 

Flowers and bedding available at the farm.

The investment comes after the Nottinghamshire County Council’s Adult Social Care and Health Committee voted to start a consultation on the scheme.

The farm sells fresh produce, eggs, fruits and vegetables produced in the farm as well as a range of bedding plants and flowers.

Fresh vegetables produced on the farm.

The Council’s Adult Social Care and Public Health Committee approved the following plans:

• expanding the café with a pancake theme in recognition of the local legend claiming that the pancake was invented in Linby
• building a children’s play area and improving customer car parking
• extending the shop opening hours and reviewing the products on sale
• increasing the range of plants in a new dedicated sales area to attract more customers to the venue.

Stuart Wallace, the Conservative councillor for Newark East, says the improvements to Brooke farm in Linby will reduce annual running costs by up to £249,000.

 “staff and service users are involved in consultation”

Stuart Wallace, councillor for Newark East

He added; “Longer hours will be available for staff once the expansion is finished due to the increase of opening times. We will be open on Saturdays which has never have been before. So there will be a change of life.”

Video: Councillor Stuart Wallace explains why the expansion is important.