A PROGRAMME officer has been appointed to help steer a £3m funding programme in Yorkshire that will help farmers, foresters and growers develop their skills and enhance their profitability.

LandSkills Yorkshire and Humber, managed by Lantra sector skills council, has appointed Dr Edward Wallington to work with programme manager Julie Hamilton to help businesses access up to 70% funding towards a wide variety of training activities.

Dr Wallington (pictured) is a former programme and business development manager at the Forestry Commission. Before that, he was in academia, researching the use of remote sensing and geographical information systems to support and optimise management decisions in the environmental sector.

Since the project began in summer, 2008, almost 3,000 people have benefited from the 70% funding.