Bell Ingram offers one stop shop for farmers looking to diversify
Scottish Agritourism is becoming a global brand, and the industry body has set itself a goal to have 1000 Scottish farming and crofting enterprises offering an agritourism experience, with at least 50% providing a food and drink element by 2030.
Farmers and landowners looking for alternative revenue streams have embraced the opportunity to not only maximise their assets, but future proof their businesses for the next generation.
With so much to consider, from funding, to planning and design, it is easy to see how the task at hand can seem overwhelming for those looking to diversify. Bell Ingram’s inhouse team of Valuers, AMC Agents, Planners and Architects can make this a smooth process by offering a one stop shop for professional advice.
Often the first barrier farmers face when looking to diversify their enterprise is understanding planning requirements. With the development or change of use process in Scotland becoming increasingly complex, navigating the guidance successfully can be a headache and time consuming. Bell Ingram’s experts in planning and development are on hand to provide practical advice on the requirements for a specific project application, saving businesses time and money in the long run.
Our team can prepare and submit planning applications with supporting statements, negotiate and liaise with the local authority and prepare EIA screening requests on a client’s behalf. Recent projects include mountain bike tracks, a wedding venue, glamping pods, visitor centre & café and farm shops.
Once planning and any other consents are in place, the final piece of the puzzle is funding. With LEADER Grant Funding now come to an end, Government investment in agritourism in Scotland is scarce. That said, there remain other routes to finance, and Bell Ingram’s valuations and AMC team has been successful in securing funding for a range of interesting farm diversification projects recently, including holiday cottages, EV charging hubs and Christmas tree farms.
Working closely with lenders, our agents offer expert advice on how to make funding applications as strong as possible. Sarah Tyson, experienced valuer and AMC Agent at Bell Ingram said: “Key considerations are the strength of the business case, ensuring realistic projections and assumptions on profit turnover; the health of the current farming business through availability of historic accounts and the experience of the owners or managers involved.
“As the stages to receiving funding progress, our agents often work with clients and their lawyers to help solve any potential problems, including access or title issues, thus helping to unlock the cash required to get the real work started.”
If you are looking for support at any stage of your farm diversification venture, contact your local Bell Ingram office.
Partner, FRICS FAAV
Rural Land Management
Tel: 01738 621 121
About: Sarah is an experienced rural property surveyor dealing with all types of valuations, renewable energy, estate management and property consultancy across Scotland . She is an Appointed Agent and Valuer for the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation providing competitive finance for farmers and landowners. Interests: AMC Services, Renewable Energy, Rural Land Management, Valuations, FRICS FAAV Registered Valuer.