Commercial lets and livery stables put farm assets to maximum use
Published: 23 October 2015
With land prices near their Hampshire based farm recently reaching in excess of £15,000 per acre, Tom and Alison Coleman have been reluctant to invest in the expansion of their existing arable farming interests through the purchase of more land. Instead they have focused on improving the asset value and earning potential of the land and buildings they already own by building a new grain store and expanding an existing complex of commercial lets.
Lower Norton Farm at Sutton Scotney near Winchester consists of 530 acres of arable land, with an additional 1,820 acres farmed on a contract basis. The main rotation is oilseed rape and winter beans, followed by winter wheat and spring malting barley which is grown for the continental lager export market.
“Targeting the barley export market and Group 2 wheat market gives us the potential to earn a small premium over standard domestic contracts,” Tom Coleman explains. “Even so, with arable farming currently going through a particularly tricky period, we have looked for other ways to make the farm more profitable and to diversify the farm’s income potential by adding value to our existing asset base.”
Lower Norton was purchased by the Colemans in the late 1980s. Since then, the farm’s ex-dairy buildings, which included cubicle sheds and a Dutch barn, have been re-developed into a variety of commercial storage units, offices and a livery yard.
It is the first time we have worked with AMC and in our experience that reputation has certainly proven to be true.
Tom Coleman Lower Norton Farm, Hampshire
“The buildings have provided a valuable revenue stream to the farming business, but we recognised that there was more we could do to increase their rental potential,” Tom adds.
“We are therefore in the process of building an American Barn-style stable block which will ring-fence the livery yard away from the other commercial lets to comply with a number of health and safety requirements.”