Ex-boy band star turned turkey farmer JB Gill is backing a campaign in Cumbria to encourage a new generation into agriculture as it becomes an ageing industry.

With the number of farmers aged over 65 increasing 70 per cent over the last decade, Barclays have launched #FarmtheFuture to inform young people about the benefits of agriculture as a career.

Research by Barclays shows one per cent of millennials – those aged between 22 and 37 – from the North West view farming as a desirable career, despite over half saying they want to work outdoors.

As part of its campaign the bank has teamed up with TV presenter and former JLS boy band star JB to encourage farmers to plan for the future and inspire under-30s to consider a career in agriculture.

JB, who has presented BBC’s Countryfile and CBeebies Down on the Farm, swapped pop stardom for a rural life of turkey and pig farming.

He said: “There’s a lot of misconceptions among young people about what a career in agriculture really means.

"It’s hard, physical work so it keeps you fit, you get to work with animals, you’re your own boss and you can keep up with the trends by posting everything on Instagram for everyone else to see.

“The farming community is really welcoming, providing newcomers with knowledge on everything from tending to animals to financial advice.

"You don’t need to have your own land to work in agriculture, there are many options from farm management through to the service industries and I would encourage anyone interested to give it some serious consideration – it’s a life like no other!”