Meet the four new tenants on the Norfolk County Farms estate
PUBLISHED: 07:36 05 May 2018 | UPDATED: 15:57 05 May 2018
Four enterprising and expanding tenants have been appointed to run plots within the council-owned Norfolk County Farms estate.
Norfolk County Council has accepted applications for four vacant farms, including its latest acquisition – the 440-acre Bank House Farm on the Stow and Marshland Estate near King’s Lynn, bought for £3m last year.
The successful tenants are:
• Bank House Farm, Stow and Marshland Estate (440 acres): Let to Emorsgate Seeds.
Current tenants of the 132-acre Ingleborough Farm on the West Walton Estate, Emorsgate grows around 150 different species of wild flowers and grasses for seed production which are then dried and processed into mixes at the main premises at Tilney All Saints. These seeds are used for gardens and landscaping and creating or restoring species-rich grassland. The company holds a Royal Warrant and has been involved in high profile projects including landscaping for the Olympic village at the London 2012 Games.
Donald MacIntyre of Emorsgate said: “We now look forward to an exciting period of expansion, allowing us to take on more staff and produce more wild flower seeds. This move will make Norfolk the UK centre for the production of native restoration seeds.”
• Great Crow Farm, Hindringham Estate (311 acres): Let to Michael Jones.
Mr Jones, 48, is also an existing tenant of the County Farms estate and a relative newcomer having successfully applied for Hall Farm on the Mautby Estate, near Great Yarmouth in 2015. The move to Great Crow Farm will allow the former pig farm manager to expand his traditional farm business.
• Coxhill Farm, Burlingham Estate (219 acres): Let to Brian and Carla-May Roberts.
Although Mr Roberts, 34 comes from a farming family, he started out as a plumber before the call of the farm became too much and he made the decision six years ago to change careers. Coxhill Farm will offer the family the opportunity to consolidate their existing contracting business and, alongside a traditional arable rotation, they also propose to establish an aquaponic enterprise growing salad leaves.
Mrs Roberts said: “Now our dream has become a reality and our children are as excited as we are to start our new adventure.”
• NCC Farm, Welney Farms (75 acres): Let to Brett Robinson.
Mr Robinson, 25, is a new entrant, but will become the seventh generation in his family to work on the land. His proposal is to establish a traditional arable rotation coupled with developing an apple juice business.
ABOUT NORFOLK COUNTY FARMS
Norfolk’s County Farms estate comprises 16,700 acres of farmland across the county, split into 61 individual estates ranging from seven acres to 3,094 acres.
Estate tenancies aim to provide a means of entry into the farming industry, as well as opportunities for existing farm businesses on the estate to grow and expand.
For the four vacant farms, Norfolk County Council received 39 applications from would-be tenants, who each had to submit a business plan covering the first three years of their proposed business. All tenants will begin their tenancies in October.
Keith Kiddie, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s business and property committee, said: “This year’s lettings illustrate the success of the County Farms estate in providing a crucial ladder into farming. Two existing tenants are being able to progress to larger farms, creating opportunities behind them as they vacate their current farms, and new entrants are being given the chance to get established and farm on their own account.”
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