Applications invited for four Norfolk County Council farms available for tenancy

30 January 2018

Enterprising tenants are being sought to take on four Norfolk farms as more than 1,000 acres of Norfolk County Council’s 16,738-acre County Farms portfolio has been launched for tender.

The four farms are located at Marshland St James and Welney in the west of the county, North Burlingham to the east, and Binham to the north. Soils on the farms vary from Grade 1 to Grade 3 and are especially suited to growing sugar beet, cereals and vegetables. Each farm also includes a range of farm buildings.

Cllr Keith Kiddie, Chair of Norfolk County 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.”

Viewings for the four tenancies are being held towards the end of February and attendance at the viewing day is compulsory for those wishing to apply. Please note that viewing of farm buildings and premises is strictly prohibited outside of the viewing day (unless from the public highway), as is entering the farmland.

Farm viewings are being held on:

  • Thursday 22 February - Bank House Farm, Marshland St James
  • Friday 23 February - NCC Farm, Welney Farms Estate
  • Monday 26 February - Coxhill Farm, North Burlingham
  • Tuesday 27 February - Great Crow Farm, Binham
To help with the application process, Norfolk County Farms, in conjunction with Anglia Rural Consultants, is running a training course over two days in February (13 and 21 February). It is specifically designed to assist new entrants and those unfamiliar with producing a business plan.

Duncan Slade, Rural Estates Surveyor, 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.”

Further particulars for each farm, application details and information about the training course can be found at www.norfolk.gov.uk/countyfarms. The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Friday 9 March 2018.

Notes to editors

Norfolk County Council’s County Farms estate currently extends to more than 16,700 acres of farmland across the county of Norfolk. It is the third largest county farms estate in the UK behind Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire.

The estate is split into 61 individual estates ranging in size from 7 acres to 3,094 acres and provides farming opportunities for more than 145 tenants with average farm size of 120 acres.

The estate provides a means of entry into farming for people wishing to farm on their own account as well as opportunities for existing farm businesses on the estate to grow and expand.

Use of County Farms ranges from the growing of traditional arable crops such as wheat, barley, potatoes and sugar beet, through to more unusual uses, including the production of essential oils, two care farms, pheasant rearing businesses, selling of rare breed meat, plant nursery, and several horse liveries.

For political comment

Cllr Keith Kiddie (Conservative), Chairman of the Business and Property Committee, on 01379 644750
Cllr Colleen Walker (Labour) on 01493 782272
Cllr John Timewell (Liberal Democrat) on 07717 881857

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