The Farm Fixer

Genre Factual Entertainment
Format 6 x 30
Broadcast On

Small family farms are in trouble. In order to survive they need to diversify and find additional ways to make money, but this needs strategic planning and business expertise.  In The Farm Fixer, trouble-shooting businessman Nick Hewer turns his attention to struggling farmers.   But his task is not an easy one. Farmers are notoriously stubborn and can be set in their ways and Nick’s direct, no-nonsense opinion is met with some wariness.   In this series Nick invests his time, knowledge and expertise to help eight farms. From projects as diverse as harvesting seaweed to brewing beer, producing flavoured pet water to entertaining cruise ship groups, Nick encourages the farms to move into areas of business completely new to them. He helps them to develop new products, create brands and find customers.

No of Series 2 series
Smallholder Siobhan Holloway in Ballynahinch, Co. Down has a flock of rare breed Leicester Longwool sheep. She started a small knitwear business but for her farm to survive it needs to be more than just a hobby. Her ambition is to break into the high-end fashion retail world. Can Nick help her realize her dream?
Nick Hewer meets beef farmer Mike Frazer who has a herd of rare breed Irish Dexter cattle. For Mike’s 450 acre farm to survive he needs to sell beef from ten cows a week but his only outlet is his farm shop on the outskirts of Ballymena. Will Mike be forced to downsize the farm or can Nick help him find more retail opportunities and can he interest some top London chefs in Dexter beef?
This week Nick meets Ian and Karen Matthews who run a pet crematorium on the outskirts of Moira, Co. Down. For the business to survive some radical changes are needed. Can Nick help turn ash into cash?
This week Nick takes on a different sort of challenge as he tries to secure the future of the Castlewellan Agricultural Show. At the helm of the show’s committee are three newly appointed women. Can Nick help them sell their new ideas to the committee and increase visitor numbers.
This week Nick turns his attention to Breckenhill in Ballyclare- a rural outdoor pursuits business struggling to survive. It’s in the process of joining forces with a neighbouring fishery, but can angling and kayaking ever work in harmony? And will that really be enough to sustain the business?
Last in series Nick meets Jim and Martina Magill in Newry, Co. Down. The Magill's produce an equine flax oil high in Omega 3, which they claim has many physical and health benefits for horses. They have big plans to expand their flax oil products into the human market but Nick is concerned they have taken on too much too soon. Can Nick persuade Jim to see things his way?
Nick Hewer begins his quest to save small farms with the Harrisons, who have a 90-acre farm near Greyabbey, on the Ards Peninsula. The Harrisons are planning to invest nearly half a million pounds to turn their small plant nursery into an eighty seat restaurant and farm shop. With three sons eager to inherit they are risking everything. However, Nick is concerned about their lack of retail experience and remote location. Their refusal to open on Sundays is another controversial point. Can Nick convince them to reduce their risk or will their determination to do it their way have dire consequences?
Nick Hewer from ‘The Apprentice’ continues his quest to save small family farms. This time he is on the north coast, near Ballycastle with 23-year-old Charlie Cole. Charlie needs to turn his parents’ farm into a viable business that can support him and his younger brothers. His plan is to harvest seaweed and raise male goats for meat, both business ideas are quirky and whether there is a market for them remains to be discovered. Nick has just 8 months to help turn this young dreamer into a hard-nosed businessman.
Nick’s quest to save small farms begins at Brownlee’s apple farm, in Co Fermanagh. Can Nick help them add value to their crop? The Brownlees also are sitting on one of the biggest natural water sources in Europe - but should they be selling?
Nick travels to a smallholding near Enniskillen. Gordon Fallis is a committed environmentalist but the land management grants he receives are not enough to support his young family. His hobby is brewing beer and Nick comes to help him develop a microbrewery. Nick is determined to get Gordon’s beer out of Fermanagh and into the pubs of London but will Gordon get his microbrewery built in time?
Nick visits to Tullyveery House, which has been owned by the Heron family for over 200 years. The estate’s cattle and sheep herds are no longer enough to support the beautiful Georgian house and gardens. Colin’s plan is to rent some of the garden for marquee weddings but Nick wants him to be much more ambitious.  Will Nick be able to convince Colin to open up his house and become much more commercial?
This week Nick is in Lisdillon, County Londonderry, helping Mike and Rhonda Nurse as they attempt to set up an equestrian centre and build self-catering accommodation. Nick is pushing them to open in time for the summer season. However, Mike and Rhonda don’t seem to feel the same sense of urgency, which causes Nick a lot of frustration. With both parties working to different deadlines can Nick help them reach their goals?
Today Nicks takes on the smallest farm so far. Paul Craig came to Arkhill farm looking for the good life but 15 years later his 10-acre organic mixed farm is in disrepair. He’s lost a supermarket contract for his eggs, the pig and sheep herds are dwindling and his poly tunnels have become a dumping ground. There is hope though, chef Richard Brown has turned the old farm shop into a tearoom and Nick sees the potential of both businesses working together to create new products. Will Nick’s plan work, or will both men’s desire for an easy life ultimately prevail?
Nick Hewer is on a mission to help small farms diversify. This week he is in Newry with Phil Brown ‘Northern Irelands answer to Dr Dolittle.’ He has an array of pint-sized animals from pigmy goats, miniature ponies, micro pigs, lamas, alpacas and a baby kangaroo. Phil wants to use his 17-acre site to develop a mobile petting farm. He has a great gift with animals but he needs to take this ability and make it into a viable business. Nick has ambitious plans for Phil, incorporating re-branding, franchising and expansion. The question is will he be able to convince Phil to think big?

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