A FULLY functioning farm which will provide jobs for young people with learning difficulties could be finished within two years, according to a headteacher.

In 2018, bosses at Market Field school, in Elmstead Market, first unveiled plans to build a one-of-a-kind facility called the Market Field Farm.

The idea behind the project was to create space in which students from the educational institution could experience a working environment for the first time.

The process of gaining permission and acquiring a suitable location, however, has been hampered by several setbacks over the two last years.

But headteacher, Gary Smith, who has been fighting on behalf of Market Field’s youngsters for 30 years, now say it is only a matter of time before the farm is a reality.

“I have met with someone who is very keen to enable the process and we have found a property now which is 50-acres in size,” he said.

“We are now in the pre-planning phase and our aim is to get anyone who is anyone in all in a room in January to help us iron out any problems before they occur.

“We are going to get all the powers that be to help us make this happen, and in two years from now, I believe the farm will be up and running.”

Aside from giving students a safe place to work, Mr Smith also hopes it will be a pathway through which students can build confidence and embark on other ventures.

He added: “The unemployment statistics among young people with learning difficulties is damning, and it is a scandal.

“We are not putting up with it anymore, so we want to give them what they deserve and in loads of different ways the farm will give these kids a place to work.

“We want it to be like Jimmy’s Farm, but it might also be a pathway to further work because with learning delays, there are emotional delays too.

“It is a layered project, and it might just help these young people.”