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Farm bought for £3m is among four plots offered for let by Norfolk County Council

PUBLISHED: 11:56 26 January 2018 | UPDATED: 11:32 31 January 2018

Bank House Farm in Marshland St James has been acquired by Norfolk County Farms estate. Picture: Brown & Co.

Bank House Farm in Marshland St James has been acquired by Norfolk County Farms estate. Picture: Brown & Co.

Brown & Co

Four farms covering a total of more than 1,000 acres are being offered for let to help aspiring farmers build their businesses as part of the Norfolk County Farms estate.

The 16,738-acre estate, owned and managed by Norfolk County Council, is split into 70 smaller farms which provide income to the authority, while creating rural jobs and business opportunities – particularly as an entry point into the industry for new farmers.

The four farms available this year include a 437-acre holding in Marshland St James, near King’s Lynn, which was acquired by the council for almost £3m in September.

Anyone wishing to apply for one of the four tenancies must attend one of four viewing days later this month:

• Bank House Farm, Marshland St James – 437-acre equipped farm. Viewing February 22.

• NCC Farm, Welney Farms Estate – 75-acre fully equipped starter farm. Viewing February 23.

• Cox Hill Farm, North Burlingham – 219-acre fully equipped farm. Viewing February 26.

• Great Crow Farm, Binham – 311-acre fully equipped farm. Viewing February 27.

Keith Kiddie, chairman of the council’s business and property committee, said: “It’s really exciting for the council to be able to offer these four farms and we anticipate high interest in them.

“There are opportunities here for people at all stages of their farming career, whether it’s a new entrant looking for their first farm, someone looking for the next rung on the ladder or those ready to go to the next level with a commercial-sized farm holding. Offering these tenancies underlines the council’s support for sustaining and creating rural employment throughout the county.”

The council has joined forces with Anglia Rural Consultants to offer would-be applicants some free business planning training on February 13 and 21, a course specifically designed to assist new entrants and those unfamiliar with producing a business plan.

Duncan Slade, rural estates surveyor for Norfolk County Farms, said: “When it comes to the sort of tenant we are looking for, we have quite a strict tenant specification to consider.

“Norfolk County Council is seeking tenants who can demonstrate that they are capable and the best able to take on the farm and make it work. Whoever is successful will need to be keen, enterprising, adaptable and hardworking to tackle the huge changes that we are on the cusp of seeing in the agricultural industry.”

Full information and online application details can be downloaded from Norfolk County Council’s website. Tenancies are for occupation from October, and the closing date for applications is midday on Friday 9 March 2018. For more information contact 01603 638400 or county.farms@norfolk.gov.uk.

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