David Stout writes on how those in the rural sector can take advantage of the changing times.
I'm sure I'm far from alone when saying that for most of us involved in agriculture and the rural sector generally this feels like a highly significant time for us all.
Much continues to be written and said about how the changes to the support system will be delivered primarily through the new ELM's system, but at the moment this remains opinion rather than factually based.
That said it's too easy to focus entirely on that when coming to terms with what is known namely that the subsidy income across the board will drop over the next three years.
Replacing that shouldn't however be restricted to the potential monies available through ELM's.
New opportunities are out there especially in our part of the country whether they be increased "staycation" demand, the huge increase in demand for storage and other logistic facilities driven by the continued growth in online purchases, carbon capture. Planning policies are also beginning to reflect this which is also very encouraging.
In many ways I would liken the current situation to be like driving around a roundabout wondering which turning to take. Some will be interested, but as yet not committed to taking up the early retirement incentives (especially tenant farmers), others will feel comfortable incorporating more bio diversity and environmental elements into their land use whilst many will simply want to stay on the roundabout until the "Sat Nav" starts working providing the guidance to know which turning to take.
I also see all of the above greatly effecting the demand for land along with a widening of the range of purchasers coming into the market.
High quality land will still attract commercial farmers as it should, but the range of buyers for more marginal land, which we have plenty of in our region, will definitely widen.
Changing times indeed making the need for good advice from the right people all the more important.
Head of Professional Services, PFK
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