Thrift Farm - the future's bright!

Thrift Farm - a much-loved and unique part of Buckinghamshire life, is to be run by new providers. 

The Farm has been operating for more than 40 years. It is a visitor attraction staffed by a number of adults with learning disabilities - giving them employment in a supported environment. Some of the adults have been going to Thrift Farm for as long as it's been open!

Until now Thrift Farm has been run by County Council but the council recently had to consult on its future as it was too complex and costly an operation for the council to carry on running. However, the County Council really wanted to keep Thrift Farm open, so is delighted that new providers have come forward. 

Thrift Farm will now be run by a new company formed by Kids Play and Mead Open Farm. 

Kids Play Childcare, based in Milton Keynes, have over 18 years experience providing childcare in OFSTED registered settings throughout the South East. Through their nurseries, pre-schools, after school clubs or activity day camps they provide care for 2,500 children across the Milton Keynes region. 

Family business Mead Open Farm in Leighton Buzzard operate a well established children's farm. Welcoming some 230,000 visitors each year, they are home to over 350 farm animals, run a programme of daily activities and an active year round event schedule.

Together, they can bring their combined expertise and experience to create a sustainable future for Thrift Farm.

Lin Hazel, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: "We were determined to explore every possible avenue to keep Thrift Farm open. The consultation, while unsettling for service users and their families, was instrumental in keeping the issue high profile and finding a new provider.

"We would like to pay tribute to all who campaigned to keep the farm open and worked with us to find a new provider. There has been a thorough debate on all the business plans put forward to run the service - and we are confident that Kids Play and Mead Open Farm are the best option to secure a bright future for Thrift Farm".

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