Category Archive: Rural Business

Farm Team Success

Liz Dixon, Elliot Taylor and Alan Falshaw

Summer 2019 has been a good one for our Farm Team in many ways. Associate, Sally Horrocks returned to the fold from maternity leave and has been joined by two new Assistant Farm Business Consultants, Phoebe Wreford-Glanvill in Alnwick and Stephen Brown in Bedale. The efforts and many hours of hard work put in by Jamie Oliver and Alan Falshaw have been acknowledged and rewarded with their promotions to Farm Business Consultant and Senior Farm Business Consultant respectively.

Leading the team Simon Britton received word this week that he has been nominated to become a Fellow of The British Institute of Agricultural Consultants (BIAC) and in his words said “this doesn’t come about because of one individual, this comes from a team working hard, pulling in the same direction, and for me this is a recognition of the whole Farm Team and I’m really proud of that”

With the undoubted uncertainty ahead the team are clearly ready for the challenge and well positioned to take on the opportunities that will be presented – bring on Brexit!!

Capital Gains Tax: Why do you need to be aware of it?

Capital Gains Tax causes a lot of confusion in the United Kingdom. Currently, what are you required to pay capital gains tax on and how much are you required to pay? James Carruthers, Associate, explains the basics.


What is Capital Gains Tax?

Capital Gains Tax is a tax on the sale profit when you dispose of something that has gone up in value. Disposing of something means:

  • a sale
  • gifting or transferring it to someone else
  • trading it in exchange for something else
  • getting compensation for it i.e. an insurance pay out

Capital Gains Tax

Capital Gains Tax in Property

Let’s say you bought some land for £50,000 and subsequently sold it for £150,000; Capital Gains Tax would be due on the £100,000 profit. Don’t worry, you only have to pay if you make a profit when disposing of a property that isn’t your home. For example:

  • buy-to-let properties
  • business premises
  • land
  • inherited property

It is very common for property to be transferred as inheritance. When inheriting an asset, any application Inheritance Tax will usually have been paid by the deceased estate, however, you may be required to pay capital gains tax if you later dispose of the asset you inherited.

Capital Gains Tax

What am I Likely to Pay?

The amount you pay depends on the level of your annual taxable income, the level of profit/gain you have achieved, as well as any tax reliefs that you may be entitled to.

If you’re a higher rate taxpayer, Capital Gains Tax is equal to 28% on any profit/gain from residential properties which are not your main residence, and 20% on any profit/gain from other assets. You may still also need to pay capital gains tax on assets which sold at a loss if your total taxable gains for the year exceed the tax-free allowance.

For any property assets that have been owned for a long period of time, any Capital Gains Tax due will be based upon the property’s value as at the 31st of March 1982 rather than the date of acquisition.

Reliefs from Capital Gains Tax are available to help defray the amount of tax that is to be paid; including the likes of Entrepreneurs Relief and Retirement Relief.

Capital Gains Tax

How can we help?

If you have disposed of a property asset using any of the aforementioned methods, you need to submit a market valuation of the property which will be reviewed by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) on behalf of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

It’s therefore vital that robust valuations are prepared that can stand up to scrutiny under the VOA review process, and that provide an appropriate depth of evidence in which to challenge or raise a dispute if necessary.

At George F. White, we have a skilled team of RICS-Registered Valuers who have the experience and expertise of preparing high standard Capital Gains Tax valuation reports that accord with the necessary industry standards.

For more information about our commercial property services, please visit our commercial property pages.

Running Fox: Let them eat cake!

It’s a common misunderstanding that our Farm Team simply work with farmers and landowners across the North, managing assets, reviewing performance and securing government funding. Whilst agricultural does account for a large proportion of our work, our farm team have spent the last couple of years securing financial aid for rural businesses such as wedding venues and five-star accommodation, through to wildlife parks, and most recently, artisan cafés…

Running Fox

The Running Fox is an award winning, artisan café with sites nestled in the picturesque Northumberland villages, Felton and Longframlington. Thanks to a cunning business model, the café has expanded to a third premises, in the rural village of Shilbottle.

Kris Blackburn is the brain child behind this extremely successful enterprise. Back in 2011, it was Kris’ dream (and mission!) to bring the luxury of fresh artisan bakes to those living in rural areas, as well as using her business as a platform for small local producers to market their products. When the opportunity arose to take on the local newsagents in Felton, she jumped, making her dream a reality. Eight years on, and two additional Running Fox sites later, her ethos remains the same, providing for and supporting the local community.

In order to fund her most recent expansion into the village of Shilbottle, Kris contacted our team as she’d previously worked with us to secure planning permission for the development of the Felton premises. Of course, we were delighted to take on the project and it quickly became apparent that the project fit into the criteria for the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE); a programme created to fund projects that create jobs and growth the rural economy.

Rhys Jones, worked with Kris on the project, and said “Kris has a truly outstanding business model, she uses her business to breathe new life into quiet rural villages. I’m really glad she gave us a call as there was clearly a need for her business to expand. However, there was, and still is, a great need for local business expansion within rural communities in order to increase the economy through job creation and tourism.”

Thanks to our teams hard work and determination, £45,000 was secured in late 2018, meaning that Kris and her team could move forward with the structural and design work required to achieve completion by Spring 2019.

In order to qualify for financial aid through the RDPE, a candidate must demonstrate how they’ll use funding to develop the local economy. Speaking about how her business has progressed over the years, Kris said: “We could never have expected the reaction we received when we opened the Running Fox in Felton; on the day we opened, there was actually a queue up the street, we couldn’t believe it! Over the years, we’ve not only been busy with the local community but we’ve seen a huge proportion of customers that’ve travelled from outside the area. We expanded two years ago into Longframlington to keep up with demand, however, both branches are now running at capacity and we’re unfortunately turning away customers. Opening a new, and bigger site, is very exciting for us as it gives us the opportunity to further innovate the business whilst economically and culturally benefiting the village and surrounding area.”

The Running Fox in Shilbottle offers seating for 50 visitors, not only solving the issue of overflow in Felton and Longframlinton, but offering a community hub. There’ll also be a retail area stocking local produce such as Chainbridge Honey and Bari Tea as well the creation of five full time jobs with further part time job creation over peak seasons. Whilst speaking about the ways in which the expansion will support rural development, Rhys said: “Improving tourism is a really effective way of increasing an area’s economic resilience; given Kris and her team have seen an influx of visitors from outside the area in both Felton and Longframlington, the new Running Fox promises development and stability for the village.”

If you’re looking to launch, expand or diversify your rural business and need advice on any possible funding opportunities, please contact your local office.


Berwick Rugby Club believe that no child should be excluded from the opportunity to participate in sports; they’re heavily involved with local schools and actively encourage young people, of all backgrounds, to get into athletics. In order to continue, their main revenue source, the 25-year-old function room needed to be drastically improved, increasing the appeal of the clubhouse as a venue.

Berwick Rugby Club

The community hub has achieved LEADER funding through the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE); a programme created to fund projects that support growth in the rural economy.

Speaking about the refurbishment, Berwick Rugby Club committee member, Chris Budzynski said: “Our sports development officer, for several years now, has gone into first, middle and senior schools in our area, promoting sporting opportunities. This has proved to be very successful and has resulted in increased numbers of youngsters from all backgrounds joining the club; we currently have 400 players, ranging from four years old to veterans. It’s become clear that our survival is integral to building our local community and culture, however, in order to make this opportunity accessible for everyone, we must be able to subsidies it; the deteriorating and ageing condition of our function space made this extremely difficult but we simply couldn’t come to terms with the withdrawal of the programme. We’re over the moon that both George F. White and the Rural Development Programme have recognised the importance of what we’re trying to do!”

In order to secure funding for the refurbishment, Chris, alongside fellow Berwick Rugby Club committee members, worked with our farm team, who took the project on pro-bono. Thanks to the teams hard work and determination, £47,698.74 was secured in March 2019, meaning that the club could move forward with the structural and design work required to achieve completion by the beginning of the 19/20 season, where the club will be competing in the National leagues once again.

Senior Rural Business Consultant at George F. White, Jamie Oliver, said: “It has been extremely rewarding to be able to support Berwick Rugby Club; their efforts in improving the opportunities for children in the area are remarkable and for this to have come to an end due to viability issues would have been terrible. The refurbishment will allow to club to further bolster their presence in the local community, becoming a hub for events and celebrations. Their success is a great example of how important rural development is to sustaining and future proofing our communities.”