Rural business opportunities available in Fenland farms
Five farms in Cambridgeshire are looking for new entrepreneurial and enthusiastic tenants as part of the county council’s re-letting programme which has opened to tender.
More than 995 acres of the council’s 33,000 acres estate – the largest of its kind in England and Wales – are up for grabs and ranging from bare land to root cropping operations.
Successful applicants, including first time farmers, will be offered five-years farm business tenancies from next October. The farms available for new lettings are in Wicken, Whittlesey, March and Friday Bridge.
Kate Barlow, principal surveyor at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “This is a valuable opportunity for motivated and enthusiastic first-time farmers to get onto the farming ladder, and those looking to progress to larger holdings.
“Last year we received a lot of interest in the four holdings that were available and the standard of applicants was very high.
“We anticipate that interest will remain high this year despite current uncertainties in the agricultural sector and Brexit.”
One of the success stories from 2018 was Nick Kiddy, who tendered for, and won, a five-year farm business tenancy at Lynchets Farm, Great Chishill.
Nick said: “I applied for many tenancies over the years and the system Cambridgeshire County Council use is a great way for you to look at your costs, at the end of the day it must be a sustainable business.
“The interview process is tough but again really makes you think and all the team are great to work with and very helpful.”
The farms will be available to view on February 13 and prospective tenants will be required to provide a business plan as part of their application to be submitted by March 8 with interviews taking place on March 18 and 20.
Tenancies will start in October for five years.
Full details about the farms, and the application process, can be found on www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/countyfarms
The five county farms available this year are:
Larkhall & Block Farm
A bar land holding approximately 114 acres with a mixture of lime rich loam soil and loamy, sandy soils. This holding is bare land only and therefore does not include any buildings or dwelling.
An equipped holding comprising 244 acres of predominately silt clay loam soil. Cropping over the last few years includes wheat, sugar beet, rape and potatoes. The holding has general purpose buildings and a three- bedroom bungalow.
Red House Farm
167 acres of predominately silty clay loam soil together with a general purpose building and a three-bedroom bungalow.
This is the largest acreage of all the holdings this year. A fully equipped holding comprising 379 acres of predominately silty clay loam soil. There are three general purpose buildings and a detached three- bedroom house.
Well End Farm
Around 92 acres of predominately silty clay loam soil together with a yard general purpose building and a three-bedroom bungalow.