How rural cash gave Gill a business

Gill and Brian Hartley at the opening of Treetops
Gill and Brian Hartley at the opening of Treetops

When Gill Hartley was made redundant several years ago, she moved into the holiday accommodation business.

But the former PR and Communications Officer for North Lincolnshire District Council says Treetops Holidays Cottages would not have been possible without grant funding.

Now, her Grasby-based business attracts visitors from around the world and pumps much-needed cash into the local economy.

Treetops has been cited by staff at West Lindsey District Council in a bid for more Rural Development Funding.

West Lindsey district councillors last night were asked to back an officer recommendation to find £15,000 a year for five years towards technical assistance to help Lincolnshire County Council access government funding for rural projects in the county.

In the last LEADER programme during 2007-13, a £50,000 investment led WLDC to gain £793,000 of funding for projects creating 37 jobs in the district.

Projects supported included the Treetops Holiday Cottages, which received £54,064 towards converting a stable block into three cottages.

Caistor also won £65,184 towards renovating a former barn for use as out of school provision and £77,138 to renovate the Old Paper Shop, turning an “eyesore in the Market Place” into what became the The Settlement restaurant.

With a successful business, Gill backs such funding.

“Treetops would not have happened without the help. We need more money spent in this economy,” she said.