Four west Norfolk farms have become available to let on the council-owned County Farms estate - offering a potential route into the industry for "ambitious and innovative" tenants.

Norfolk County Council is offering four new farm business tenancies on its estate, which covers nearly 17,000 acres and has 95 farm tenants.

The authority is seeking applicants who can "contribute to the estate's objectives of providing a gateway into agriculture, supporting rural businesses and enhancing the environment". 

The four holdings are:

· Rose Farm at Lady Drove, Downham Market - a 250-acre equipped holding on the Stow and Marshland Estate, with a three-bedroom bungalow, Grade 1 land and a range of farm buildings. 

· New Road Farm at Marshland St James, Wisbech - a 144-acre equipped holding on the Stow and Marshland Estate, with a four-bedroom farmhouse, Grade 2 land and two general purpose buildings. 

· Land at Ingleborough Farm at West Walton, Wisbech - a 72-acre part-equipped holding on the West Walton Estate, with Grade 1 land and two agricultural buildings.

· Neatmoor Farm at Nordelph, Downham Market - a 181-acre equipped holding on the Nordelph Neatmoor Hall Estate, with a three-bedroom bungalow, a secondary bungalow for sub-letting, Grade 1 land and several farm buildings.

The council says it will consider proposals for enterprises including diversification and environmental enhancement.

Applicants will need to submit a business plan which shows their "suitability, viability and vision" for the tenancies, which run for eight or 10 years, and start from October.

Jane James, cabinet member for corporate services and innovation at Norfolk County Council, said: "These farm lets are ideal for new entrants who want to start or expand their business.

"Our goal is to provide opportunities in the sector for those who may not have them otherwise and we offer a range of advice and guidance to help our tenants succeed."

The council will hold a viewing day for the four holdings on Tuesday, February 13, which is compulsory for anyone who wishes to apply.

The application deadline is midday on March 25. For information and applications, see