97% Farms Find Diversification Profitable

Carter Jonas and Farmers Weekly have unveiled statistics showing that more than two thirds (68%) of farmers and landowners have diversified. With commercial and residential developments being the most popular options for those currently diversifying.

A vast range of alternative ventures are run by the 250 people who completed the survey, with almost 100 different enterprises listed.

More than two-thirds (68%) have diversified, into areas ranging from the familiar and the popular such as commercial and residential developments, renewable energy and tourism, to a flying school, plumbing, dog training, quarrying and boatyards.

Main findings

  • Two-thirds of respondents are currently diversifying on their farm or estate.
  • More than half of those currently diversifying plan to extend in the next five years.
  • 97% of respondents who have diversified consider it a success from a profitability perspective – 51% to a great extent.
  • Just one in five respondents received funding or grants for their project, with 78% not doing so.
  • About one-third consider their diversification was profitable in each of the first, second and third years.
  • In terms of challenges, securing planning permission, funding and budgeting for the new enterprise were the most significant.

Profitable sidelines

A huge 97% scored their alternative enterprise a success in profitability terms, with about half saying that it was profitable to a great extent and one-third seeing a profit in the first, second and third years of operation.

Eight in 10 believed it was an environmental success too.

Commercial and residential developments are most popular among those currently diversifying. Commercial and leisure are most popular with those considering a new venture/

More than half of those already diversifying plan to expand these interests in the next five years.

Areas that farmers find the most challenging are securing planning permission, funding, and correctly budgeting for a new enterprise.

Only one in five had any grant funding to help with the new venture.

Among those planning to diversify, most are looking at commercial lets such as workshops, offices and storage, alongside residential developments for tourism and the domestic rental market.

Securing funding and planning permission present the greatest challenges for those considering diversification.

Catesby Estates plc is a specialist land promotion and infrastructure business.   If you think your land may have residential development potential and would like to see its value increase by working with us as your land promoter, please get in touch  01926 836910 /  info@catesbyestates.co.uk.

Read the full article here.

Credit: Farmers Weekly,  2019