Duchy Partners with LindenTo Develop Spa Lawn Tennis Club, Harrogate

street scene extractThe Duchy of Lancaster has entered into a joint venture agreement with Linden Homes to develop the site formerly occupied by the Spa Lawn Tennis Club in Harrogate.

Following the granting of planning permission for 13 new homes on this site, the Duchy has chosen to partner with Linden Homes to bring these properties to market. Linden will construct the new homes in line with the Duchy’s quality standards and specification and market the development on the Duchy’s behalf.

This is the first time that the Duchy of Lancaster has entered into an agreement of this nature.

Head of Project Management Graeme Chalk said: “This may not be the traditional model, but it is certainly an innovative new approach which works for both parties. As a historic landowner in this area, we were very aware of the need for housing locally, but we also understood the sensitivities around new development in a heritage city like Harrogate. We therefore took time to select the right partner and a builder with a successful track record of delivering a quality product that is sympathetic to the scale and style of the surrounding environment.”

Work is scheduled to begin on site in August 2016 with a target completion date of July 2017.

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Duchy of Lancaster Annual Report and Accounts Year Ended March 31st 2016

The Duchy of Lancaster has today published its financial results for the year ended March 31st 2016.

During the year:

  • Net surplus increased by 7.7% to £17.8m
  • Net asset value increased by 4.8% to £494.7m.

Nathan Thompson, CEO and Clerk of the Duchy Council, said:  “The Duchy continues to develop a robust and sustainable business strategy informed by ever-improving business information systems and an experienced team. Our consistent aim is to deliver attractive returns, while continuing to protect and enhance the Duchy’s assets for future generations.”

The Duchy of Lancaster is a private landed estate which provides the Sovereign with a source of income that is independent of Government and the public purse. The Duchy is self-financing and does not rely upon public funds in connection with its activities.

To view/download a copy of the Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 31st March 2016, please visit the Financial Reporting page of this website (www.duchyoflancaster.co.uk).

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Orms Appointed To Refurbish Norman House

Norman House - Orms Appointment   The Duchy of Lancaster has appointed leading London-based architects Orms to examine the possibilities for the refurbishment of Norman House at 105-109 Strand in Central London.

Norman House forms part of the historic Savoy Estate which has belonged to the Duchy since the 13th century. It occupies a prominent position and the Duchy, together with Orms, will be looking at the future potential for the building.

Established in 1984, Orms has established a reputation for the sensitive redevelopment of historic buildings to produce contemporary office buildings which are both sympathetic to their surroundings and sustainable over the long term. Recent projects have included the revitalisation of Medius House in Soho, the design of the new mixed use scheme at St Giles Circus in Camden and the redevelopment of Tottenham Court Walk in Fitzrovia. In June of this year the firm secured planning permission for the refurbishment of a 1960s office building, Folgate Court in Shoreditch.

Commenting on the opportunities for Norman House, Orms director and project lead architect John McRae said: “We believe that the functionality of a building is as important as its form. Buildings should be simple to run and intuitive to work in, making a positive contribution to our productivity and wellbeing. This historic building gives us an opportunity to create a series of high quality office suites appropriate to the location, but designed specifically for 21st century use.”

Mike Andrews, Head of Urban for the Duchy of Lancaster added: “The Duchy of Lancaster recognises the historic importance of the Strand as part of the Savoy estate. Any proposals we take forward must therefore be based on achieving a genuine balance between the preservation of our historic buildings and a contemporary response to the changing needs of our commercial tenants. We are confident that Orms will deliver this at Norman House.”

 

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Supporting Farming Ambitions in Staffordshire

 

Newborough Hall Farm in Staffordshire comprises a farmhouse with outbuildings and 236 acres of high quality grazing and arable land which has been farmedto a very high standard by the Slater family for two generations. However, with no succession, the future of the farm was in some doubt.

The adjacent farm, Holt Hall, has been expanding and the tenant Mr Andrew Lichfield has been renting additional land off-estate on short-term agreements as the business has grown. A 10-year agreement has now been reached for the land and some associated farm infrastructure of Newborough Hall to be placed with that of Holt Hall.

Commenting on the deal, Andrew Lichfield said: “This is a logical step which enables us to move the business forward. It gives Stephen and I the potential for further growth and will help us with our efficiencies due to the greater economies of scale we are able to achieve with this combined and contiguous unit.”

Duchy Head of Rural Christopher Sparrow added: “As a responsible landowner, the Duchy takes its role very seriously, particularly in these rural communities where agriculture has faced some significant challenges over recent years. Larger farms, particularly those that are ring-fenced, do make better economic and practical sense and we are always happy to look at proposals for new and creative ways of helping our tenants achieve their long-term goals.”

The Duchy of Lancaster currently has over 60 farm tenants on the Needwood Estate which covers over 7,500 acres in Staffordshire.

 

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Scalby Lodge Awarded TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

The Duchy of Lancaster’s luxury holiday cottages at Scalby Lodge have once again this year received a Certificate of Excellence from the world’s largest travel website, TripAdvisor.

The Certificate of Excellence is awarded in recognition of the quality, quantity and timeliness of reviews submitted by satisfied customers over a 12-month period. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. Now in its sixth year, the award is designed to celebrate operators who deliver a quality customer experience and the highest levels of service throughout the year.

Commenting on the award, Duchy Holiday Cottages Manager Jayne Pickup said: “We are delighted to hear that we have been awarded the Certificate again this year. The comfort and enjoyment of our visitors is of paramount importance to us here at Scalby Lodge and we work hard to do whatever we can to make their stay here a ‘home from home’. The fact that this Certificate is awarded on the basis of comments, reviews and testimonials from visitors who have stayed with us is the best possible measure of success.”

Heather Leisman, Vice President of Industry Marketing for TripAdvisor, agreed: “With the Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor honours businesses that have consistently received strong praise and ratings. This helps travellers identify properties that regularly deliver great service and we are proud to play our part in helping them feel more confident in their booking decisions.”

The Duchy of Lancaster owns fifteen luxury holiday properties at Scalby Lodge near Scarborough, many of which were refurbished earlier this year in line with the Duchy’s new Design Standard. These have been awarded a 5-star rating by VisitEngland, and a new holiday property, Root Farm Cottage in Lancashire, has also been added to the portfolio in the last 12 months.

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