High Sheriffs Installed Across The County Palatine

Her Majesty The Queen as Duke of Lancaster has appointed Her new High Sheriffs for the County Palatine. Mrs Amanda Jane Parker JP will serve as High Sheriff of Lancashire, Mrs Sharman Birtles JP DL is installed as High Sheriff of Greater Manchester and Mr Robert Owen JP DL takes up the post for Merseyside. Each will serve for a 12-month period until April 2016 and all three will be supported by the new Under-Sheriff for the County Palatine, Mr David Cam DL.

The office of High Sheriff is Britain’s oldest, continuous secular dignitary under The Crown, dating back to Saxon times (circa 600 AD). At this time, the ‘Shire Reeve’ was responsible to the King for the maintenance of law and order within the county, as well as the collection and return of taxes due to the Crown. Today the role is largely ceremonial and focused on support for local good causes through charitable work. High Sheriffs are responsible for supporting and entertaining visiting High Court Judges. , but do not receive any remuneration from the Duchy of Lancaster or the Privy Purse. All expenses are borne by the individual.

The selection of High Sheriffs for the historic County Palatine is carried out by the Monarch as Duke of Lancaster. As tradition dictates, it entails the pricking of a parchment with a silver bodkin next to the name of the successful candidate.

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Duchy to invest in new £2m model farm for Cloughton

The Duchy of Lancaster is continuing to invest in the future of agriculture, pledging around £1.6m to develop a £2m purpose-built model farm on a greenfield site near Scarborough.

Tenant farmer Joe Green has lived and worked at the Duchy of Lancaster’s Town Farm in the village of Cloughton all of his life, just as his father did before him. However, having built up a thriving business over almost 50 years, Joe and his family found that the constraints of the existing farmstead were preventing him from expanding further – or from investing in new technologies and green energy sources. In discussions with the Duchy team, Joe and his wife Debbie have now been able to design a purpose-built 21st century farm steading and new buildings at Cloughton Fields which will meet the demands of his growing business.

“We have been very happy at Town Farm but the truth is that the farm has just outgrown the old homestead,” said Joe. “Agriculture is moving on apace, with new technologies, green energies and increasingly sophisticated facilities available. We want to take advantage of these new advances and apply them so that the business can continue to grow and we can pass on to the next generation a first-class model of contemporary farming. The Duchy team have worked with us from the beginning to make this a reality and we look forward to moving into our new home when work is completed later in the year.”

Building work commenced on the steading buildings and farmhouse just north of Scarborough this month, with completion expected in October 2015. The £2m project has strong green credentials, with a ground source heat pump and solar panels all incorporated into the design. “We hope to be virtually self-sufficient in terms of our energy consumption,” adds Joe.

Christopher Sparrow, head of rural estates at the Duchy of Lancaster, said: “This is a significant investment in the future of agriculture. As a responsible landlord, The Duchy of Lancaster takes a long-term approach to the lands under its stewardship in partnership with its tenants. The new farmstead will provide Joe and his family with first-class farming and agricultural facilities, as well as an environmentally friendly home.”

Joe’s son Henry is hoping to carry on the family tradition at Cloughton. A graduate of Royal Agricultural University at Cirencester, Henry is currently gaining experience by working as a trainee manager on a large rural estate in Norfolk.


Editor’s Note:

Cloughton is a small coastal village four miles north of Scarborough, within the Duchy of Lancaster’s Yorkshire Survey. The Duchy’s Cloughton Estate is largely made up of 1,000 hectares of arable land, with a number of residential properties, pubs and a restaurant.

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Duchy of Lancaster appoints in-house Communications Manager

Debbie GarrittyThe Duchy of Lancaster has confirmed the appointment of Deborah Garritty as its first in-house Communications Manager. Deborah, who has over 30 years’ experience in senior communications roles for clients in the planning, property and construction sectors, will join the full-time team from 1st April 2015.

This latest appointment is the fifth full-time appointment to be made by the Duchy of Lancaster in the last 12 months. Nathan Thompson, chief executive of the Duchy of Lancaster, said: “The Duchy of Lancaster comprises a diverse portfolio of properties and must ensure these are managed responsibly, sustainably and in accordance with the organisation’s unique cultural heritage. Communications has a key role to play and I am confident that Deborah’s skill-set and experience will make her a valuable addition to the team.”

Deborah, who was formerly Head of the Property, Planning and Construction practice for Bell Pottinger in the North of England, said: “I am delighted to have this opportunity to join the Duchy of Lancaster team. The Duchy of Lancaster is a unique organisation with a fascinating portfolio of land and property assets across the UK. In a knowledge-based economy, good and effective communications is essential for any forward-looking management team. I look forward to playing my part to support the growth and development of the Duchy’s assets, while raising public awareness of the organisation’s historic pedigree and strategic management role.”

Founded in the 13th century, the Duchy of Lancaster is a private portfolio of land, property and assets held for the Sovereign, Her Majesty The Queen, as Duke of Lancaster. It comprises some 18,700 hectares of urban developments, rural estates, historic buildings, farmland and tenancies and areas of outstanding natural beauty across England and Wales.



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Duchy completes £130,000 eco-heating project

The Duchy of Lancaster has completed the installation of a £130,000 eco-friendly heating system at a farm property on its Needwood Estate.

The innovative biomass system will provide heating and hot water for both residential and commercial elements of Woodhouse Farm, which is one of the UK’s leading equine rehabilitation centres.

As the property’s previous heating consisted only of open fires, the woodchip biomass boiler system will both help the environment and save hundreds of pounds each year in energy bills compared to LPG oil, gas or electric heating. It is also the first of its kind for the Duchy of Lancaster.

Graeme Chalk, head of project management at the Duchy of Lancaster, said: “As a responsible landlord with a strong commitment to sustainability, we fully support the use of sustainable energy wherever possible. For this project we worked hand-in-hand with property agent Savills and installer Asgard Biomass to design and procure the system.

“Extensive research was undertaken which demonstrated the wealth of benefits biomass technology would bring to the site. The Duchy now has a number of properties using green systems such as ground source heat pumps, solar PV and rainwater harvesting.”

The biomass system will use existing woodchip from another Duchy tenant, forestry and harvesting company UPM Tilhill, which occupies the nearby Needwood Sawmill site.

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Duchy’s Ripon Road development fully-let

The Duchy of Lancaster’s £2million residential development in Harrogate is now fully occupied less than six months after its completion.

All 13 apartments at 11 Ripon Road have been let by Harrogate-based agents Linley & Simpson.

The development – which features the refurbished Victorian era Granville House, home to four apartments, and the new-build Villiers House with nine apartments – was finished in September with the first tenants moving in immediately.

Mike Andrews, head of commercial at the Duchy of Lancaster, said: “Ripon Road generated a high level of interest from the outset with a strong demand for viewings. The rental market in Harrogate is very competitive but these apartments have clearly captured people’s attention.”

Both buildings benefit from landscaped grounds and allocated parking spaces and have strong green credentials, with high performance double glazing, high efficiency and low emission boilers as well as LED lighting.a

The buildings have been named in honour of 19th century Duchy Chancellors, Sir Granville George Leveson-Gower and George Villiers, who strongly championed the growth of Harrogate as a fashionable spa town.

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