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Recently, Jacob, a Year One Horticulture T-level student at Cirencester College, was awarded the £1000 Peter Seabrook scholarship from Colegrave Seabrook Foundation.

Jacob is using his grant to support a business he has recently started which involves growing and selling plants at local farmers markets. Jacob’s class were encouraged to apply for the grant by their lecturer, and the application process involved a short writing task. This was to outline their business plans, and the ways in which the grant would be beneficial to them. A month after submitting his application, Jacob received the exciting news that he was the winner.

Jacob said “It felt amazing to win the grant as I knew I would be able to comfortably do what I wanted to do with my business. It has helped me put my all into it.”

Since receiving his grant, Jacob has been attending Stroud market every weekend since May. He sells bedding plants and hanging baskets, and hopes to be selling succulents in the near future. “The atmosphere at the market is always amazing.”, said Jacob, “I think I am doing quite well. My best sellers at the moment are my hanging baskets but it does vary.”

Jacob’s work was also recognised at the recent Cirencester Youth Market, where he was a participant of the National Market Traders Federation Young Traders Market Local Heat, judged by the mayor. Jacob was thrilled to be awarded second place and receive his certificate.

Reflecting on how his experience on the T-level has benefitted him with his business, Jacob said, “T-level Horticulture has helped me to refine my pre-existing technical knowledge, as well as gain business skills. Having an industry expert like Piers as a lecturer has also helped because he has given me valuable advice about what I should be selling and what people like as he has his own garden centre. He also has a lot of useful industry contacts, and I really appreciate all the support he has given me so far.”

Piers Lavan, Course Team Leader for Horticulture, said “Jacob’s genuine passion for horticulture makes him a pleasure to teach. He is often willing to stay behind after class and chat about what we’ve studied in a bit more detail and discuss alternative plants and methods.”

After College, Jacob hopes to expand his business and open his own plant nursery and garden centre.

Congratulations on this brilliant achievement, Jacob.

T-level Horticulture was introduced at Cirencester College in September 2023, and it has been an exciting year for the inaugural class with many opportunities to showcase their work beyond the College grounds, and gain experience with working with different clients. They have worked with the Kings Foundation at Highgrove to create an atmospheric seating area in the garden at Bartley Court, designed and created a flower display for the most photographed jump at the Badminton Horse Trials 75th Anniversary, and most recently, built flowerbeds for several of the welcome signs around Cirencester town.

Find out more about studying T-level Horticulture here: Agriculture, Land Management and Production: Ornamental Horticulture and Landscaping T-level – Cirencester College

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