The Time Is Now

23rd April 2012

Defra’s Rural Economy Grant (REG) shows that whilst the rest of the economy may be struggling to expand or adapt to the changing world markets, the rural farming and land owning community has rarely been in a better position to seize the moment.

With grants available between £25,000 and up to £1,000,000 in support of diversification schemes, why not dust down that ‘rainy’ day idea and examine the opportunity again?

To put things into context, there may never be a better time to take that step into the unknown. The recently adopted National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) supports the sustainable development principal for rural assets, the cost of borrowing remains at a historic low, and opportunities to add value to your business or asset base are reflected in the need of others to realise cash to aid their own business.

Whilst other sectors have seen the value of their asset base diminish, the rural land market has been resilient and in many areas and has nearly doubled in value over the past decade for some. The ability to realise the capital required may now be a viable proposition through the sale of off lying fields that have a limited impact on your core business.

With the presence of the grant funds to aid the delivery of farming, forestry, tourism, and agri-food business (large or small), this presents that generational ‘game changing’ opportunity to turn the idea into a concept and ultimately reality.

Whilst we continue to be challenged by ever changing statute, including the changes to Capital Allowances, these changes present opportunities. There is always a reason not to do something! By discussing the issues and options in detail, we can identify any show stoppers at the earliest stage. Typically we need to examine ownership structures, aims of the business, planning and financing for the scheme and delivery of the project and its ongoing management.

George F White’s Strategic Business Management team can assist in taking the concept and plotting a timeline for you, identifying the hurdles you’ll need to address and developing a feasibility appraisal and business models to aide your decision. This allows for a measured and controlled process to deliver the project, acquisition or disposal that has been in your mind for some time.

Playing to your own strengths is the key in delivering your goal. Farmers are entrepreneurial, often have a strong established business with a sound asset base and are good managers of their existing operations; we can assist in providing an alternative view for you, and have a track record of working with farming and land owning clients to deliver that ‘dream’.

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