Still looking for Christmas presents?

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Latest News

Maybe we can help. Try visiting our new venture The Barn Cardington, a community deli, cafe and butchery up the road from our offices. Or browse the gifts available from Warden Abbey Vineyard.

The Barn Cardington has a range of delicious looking gift options, you can also stock up on cheese, meat, wines, Christmas essentials, cakes and desserts and other goodies in advance of the festive period.

Gift offers from Warden Abbey Vineyard include our award-winning still and sparkling wines, gift wouchers and Donate a Vine. Read more here.

Santa drops in on the Abbey Line

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Latest News

Hundreds of excited children were delighted to meet Santa on the Abbey Line on Saturday 9 December. Platforms were busy at St Albans Abbey through to Watford Junction stations as over 1,000 people boarded the specially decorated trains.

The event was held by the award winning Abbey Line Community Rail Partnership (hosted by BRCC) which works to promote and support the rail line from St Albans to Watford.

Also on board were face painters and a balloon modeller to entertain the young passengers. Each child received a present from Santa, a goody bag for each family/ group and a special Farewell Christmas cake, courtesy of London Midland. It also happened to be the last working day of the London Midland Franchise.

The event was supported by volunteers from the Community Rail Partnership’s members, station adopters and volunteers. The Rotary Club of St Albans Verulamium was very grateful to receive donations during the event.

Edna Woname, Abbey Line CRP Officer said ‘The aim was for our Community to come and meet us and learn more about the Abbey Line Community Rail Partnership. It was wonderful to welcome everyone and start the Christmas festivities, especially in the two towns the service serves which have a host of Christmas activities too. I am particularly grateful for the support we received from local organisations; Watford Colosseum, Abbey Theatre, St Albans BID and the Partnerships’ members. This was a great event with hundreds of people joining us, some for the first time. I am already planning what we can do next year.”

Steve Helfet, Head of West Coast Services at London Midland said: “Our team was delighted to play such an active part in making the day of hundreds of young people, by hosting the first Santa Express event on the Abbey Line for many years. It was brilliant to mark the last day of the London Midland franchise with such an enjoyable highlight.”

BRCC’s other Community Rail Partnership on the Marston Vale line is also holding a Santa Special on Saturday 16th December, you can keep up to date with this on its Facebook page.

Christmas food and drink events this Sunday

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Latest News, The Barn Cardington, Warden Abbey Vineyard

Please come and support Christmas events being held by two of BRCC’s community enterprises on Sunday 3rd December.

The Barn Cardington, our new deli/café/butchery, is holding a Christmas Tasting Day with free tasting samples and festive refreshments between 10.30and 4.30pm.

Warden Abbey Vineyard is holding a Christmas Wine Sale at Southill Park between 11am and 4pm.

Come and stock up with locally produced and/or sourced food & drink for your Christmas and New Year celebrations! Lots of Christmas gift ideas as well.


The Barn Cardington to launch on Sunday 5th November

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Latest News, Rural Development

BRCC is launching its latest venture, a community deli, cafe and gourmet butchers, on Sunday 5th November 2017 between 10.30am and 4pm.

The Barn Cardington is situated on the site of what was Summerhill Farm Shop, which closed down earlier in 2017. BRCC is operating the deli and cafe, and the butchery will be provided by the award-winning Woburn Country Foods.

The launch event will include opportunities to taste and buy products; a BBQ; and a drinks stall.

For further information and updates, follow The Barn Cardington on Twitter or Facebook.

Warden Abbey Vineyard is runner-up in national Rural Business Awards

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Latest News

BRCC is delighted that our community vineyard at Warden Abbey was a runner-up in the national Rural Business Awards 2017 in the SOCIAL ENTERPRISE / COMMUNITY PROJECT OF THE YEAR category.

The award, which “aims to celebrate an enterprise or project that is shaping a rural community or impacting the rural way of life in a positive way” was presented to BRCC’s Rural Development Manager Lisa King at a ceremony on 5th October.

You can read more on the Rural Business Awards website.

This story was covered by the Biggleswade Chronicle.

In the meantime, despite fears earlier in the year of no harvest due to difficult weather conditions, the harvest on Monday 9th October produced enough grapes to make around 850 bottles of still wine. Find out more about the vineyard and the latest news on the vineyard’s website.

Rural Funding Opportunities Breakfast Event on Wednesday 18th October 8.30am

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Beds & Hunts Claylands, Greensand Country Landscape Partnership, Greensand Ridge LAG, Latest News, Rural Development

The Greensand Ridge Local Action Group are hosting a FREE event at the award winning Gamlingay Eco Hub (funded by LEADER) on 18th October 8.30-10.30am, to enable local businesses to find out more about Rural Development Funding.

If you are looking for funding for your business, this event will give you the chance to learn about the different funding options available to you and speak to experts about which options are best for your business and how you can access them.

You can book tickets here or download the flyer here.

Greensand Country Landscape Partnership seeks Communications, Marketing & Engagement Officer

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Greensand Country Landscape Partnership, Job vacancies, Latest News

We are seeking a passionate, highly motivated and experienced Communications, Marketing and Engagement Officer, to help us deliver a Landscape Partnership for Greensand Country, a distinctive landscape area consisting of a sandstone ridge and associated river valleys, located principally in Central Bedfordshire.

BRCC and the Greensand Trust are leading on this Landscape Partnership programme with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which will deliver an array of exciting projects to help us raise awareness of the heritage value of Greensand Country and to reverse the gradual decline in the distinct landscape character of this beautiful and loved place.

We have created a destination brand for the Greensand Country.  Be at the heart of this exciting initiative and help us to create a living and working landscape that is cherished by present and future generations and a rich natural and built heritage which is sustained and understood.

You can download further information and application details here:

Information Pack CM&E officer

BRCC Equality & Diversity monitoring form

Application deadline: Monday 6th November 2017 at 9am
Interviews: Wednesday 15th November 2017


Opening soon – The Barn Cardington

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Job vacancies, Latest News, Rural Development, Tastes of Bedfordshire, Volunteering, Warden Abbey Vineyard

BRCC is preparing to reopen the Summerhill Farm Shop in Cardington under a new name, The Barn Cardington, in October 2017.

The Barn Cardington will continue Summerhill’s commitment to high-quality local produce, and for the first time will enable customers to eat in as well as take away. The butchery will be provided by the award-winning Woburn Country Foods. A new bakery, OurDough CIC, will also be established on site.

We are seeking casual and seasonal shop floor staff and volunteers. For more information please contact Chris Fox.

BRCC opens new Mobility Hub in Bedford town centre

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Community Transport, Latest News, Volunteering

Picture: Dave Hodgson hands over the keys for the Mobility Hub to Jon Boswell

BRCC’s new Mobility Hub in Bedford town centre opened on Monday 4th September. Based at Bedford bus station, this new hub will enable customers to hire a range of mobility equipment and access information on community-run transport services across the Borough.

The Mobility Hub is the result of a new agreement between Bedford Borough Council and Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity (BRCC) to continue to provide Door to Door community transport services for people who have difficulty using or accessing public transport. The town centre mobility service will be delivered through a partnership with Bedford Shopmobility, which previously operated a mobility service from a unit in the Howard Centre.

Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said: “We’re delighted that this new facility has opened in the heart of Bedford town centre. The mobility hub will help people to get into and around the town centre, making it easier for them to access its amenities and excellent local businesses.’

Jon Boswell, BRCC Chief Executive, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Bedford Borough Council and Bedford Shopmobility to help people with mobility problems to get around Bedford. We are also keen to hear from anyone who would be interested in volunteering at the Hub.”

For more information please visit

Warden Abbey Vineyard shortlisted in the Rural Business Awards 2017

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Latest News

We are delighted to announce that our Warden Abbey Vineyard project has been shortlisted in the Social Enterprise/Community Project of the Year category of the Rural Business Awards 2017.

The winner of each category will be announced at an awards ceremony on Thursday 5th October 2017 at Denbies Wine Estate, Surrey. Further information about the ceremony can be found here.

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