New farm business tenancy is first of its kind for Crown

A new venture has been formed to manage the 4,500 acre Ellington Estate.

The Crown Estate, which bought the estate from Rio Tinto last year, has partnered with Velcourt, Europe’s leading farm business manager.

A unique farm business tenancy (FBT) will see rent divided between a base and a variable rent linked to the production and success of the holding, unlike standard FBTs where the variable element is based on prices in the market.

This venture is the first of its kind for The Crown Estate, which manages a 360,000 acre portfolio of forest, farm and common land, with agricultural estates mainly let to tenant farmers.

The new style of FBT has been designed to facilitate partnership working and investment by both the land owner and farm manager to maximise productivity and returns.

The Crown Estate has also let a 92 ha livestock enterprise to local farming business Annett & Sons on a seven-year FBT agreement and is investing £400,000 on improve drainage systems, with a primary focus on upgrading the farm’s fixed equipment.

Ken Jones, director of the rural and coastal portfolio for The Crown Estate, said: “The agreements with Velcourt and Annett & Sons and our on-going investment at Ellington encapsulate the progressive approach to land management which we believe is essential to maximise the productivity and long term sustainability of our portfolio.”

The Ellington Estate includes agricultural land, farm buildings, 19 homes, and an operational 13 turbine wind farm leased to Scottish Power Renewables.