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farming

£4.5m investment to support rural tenants

Crown Estate Scotland is investing £4.5 million over two years in a range of activity on its four rural estates, including new buildings and infrastructure.

The investment in 2017-18 and 2018-19 will help tenants in their day-to-day operations and will also benefit the wider rural economy in those areas. Some of the works will support tenants in developing and diversifying their businesses, many of whom are situated in remote rural locations.

The targeted investment will in large part go towards upgrading, renewing and replacing agricultural infrastructure as part of the organisation’s ongoing efforts to provide excellent tenant service. Some has been invested in freeing up a unit so that it can be re-let to another tenant farmer.

In response to tenant feedback, the organisation is also carrying out a condition survey covering agricultural, residential and commercial units on the rural estates.

Fiona Simpson, Asset Manager at Crown Estate Scotland, said: “We always aim to support our tenants and be a landlord of choice, and this capital investment programme is further demonstration of that.

“As the needs and requirements of our tenant farmers are constantly evolving, we can’t stand still. We continue to work to find new ways of helping to ensure they have the facilities they need to benefit their operations, which in turn is good for the wider local economies where they are.

“Of the £4.5m, most is being raised from sales of residential properties and development land, as well as a small number of farms.

“For the longer-term, we will be speaking with stakeholders about a rural estate strategy. It’s important that tenants can input to this so we’ll ensure they have the opportunity to feed in ideas and comments.”

Crown Estate Scotland has around 115 farms and over 200 agricultural tenancy agreements spread across four estates, and is responsible for ensuring that the land is used in a way which brings environmental, economic and social benefits to the wider community.

The £4.5m investment will be used in a variety of ways, from the construction and upgrading of farm buildings to improvements to access and other infrastructure. Decisions are made in full discussion with the individual tenants involved.

Crown Estate Scotland is self-financing. This means that it raises money in order to invest. On agricultural units, investment often does not result in an increase in the value of the property or the income that Crown Estate Scotland receives in rent - the work is carried out to meet statutory requirements and as a good landlord.

Some examples of how this investment is being used include:

  • Four new large general purpose buildings on farms at Glenlivet
  • A range of improvements at other properties to prevent damp and strengthen roofs
  • A contribution to Tomintoul & Glenlivet Landscape Partnership works
  • A surrender payment to free up a farm for re-letting
  • Major drainage and tree-planting works on the Whitehill estate
  • A new replacement silage pit at a Fochabers farm
  • Roof works on several farms at Applegirth

In addition, a programme of electrical and asbestos related works is being carried out, as well as ongoing improvements to farm water supplies. We continue to work closely with the Tenant Farming Commissioner on promoting and implementing initiatives such as the amnesty on tenants’ improvements and have improved how we communicate with agricultural tenants based on the findings of independent tenant satisfaction research.

A further £2.4m capital has been budgeted to acquire units when tenants approach Crown Estate Scotland.  

-ENDS –

Contact: John Lang at Crown Estate Scotland 07741 801225 / john.lang@crownestatescotland.com

Notes to Editors

About Crown Estate Scotland

Crown Estate Scotland manages land and property on behalf of the Scottish Ministers. It works with people, businesses and organisations to ensure that the assets are managed in a sustainable way that creates prosperity for Scotland and its communities. The business started operating in April 2017 and pays all revenue profit to the Scottish Government.

Crown Estate Scotland manages:

  • 37,000 hectares of rural land with agricultural tenancies, residential and commercial properties and forestry on four rural estates (Glenlivet, Fochabers, Applegirth and Whitehill)
  • Rights to fish wild salmon and sea trout in in river and coastal areas
  • Rights to naturally-occurring gold and silver across most of Scotland
  • Just under half the foreshore around Scotland including 5,800 moorings and some ports and harbours
  • Leasing of virtually all seabed out to 12 nautical miles covering some 750 fish farming sites and agreements with cables & pipeline operators
  • The rights to offshore renewable energy and gas and carbon dioxide storage out to 200 nautical miles
  • Retail and office units at 39-41 George Street Edinburgh

Crown Estate Scotland is a public corporation which manages the assets on an interim basis until new legislation sets out permanent arrangements.