Signature Farm Snapped Up By Elveden Farms

The Duchy of Lancaster has purchased Mallard Hearn Farm, Donington, bringing the total acreage owned by the Duchy in Lincolnshire to 2,580.  The land holding and buildings have now been combined with neighbouring Park Farm to create a holding on the eastern estate which will be one of the most productive in the Duchy’s portfolio.

The newly extended 1,500-acre farm, which includes temperature controlled storage facilities for 4,000 tonnes of potatoes and 6,000 tonnes of grain, will be occupied by Elveden Farms Ltd.

Elveden Estates is already one of the country’s leading  fresh food producers, growing over 75,000 tonnes of potatoes, onions, parsnips and carrots per year.  This is the company’s first investment in Lincolnshire.

Managing Director of Elveden Farms Ltd Michael Douglas said: “Elveden strives to be world class in terms of the quality of produce we offer and we are also totally committed to responsible farming. Moving into Park Farm allows us to continue to grow our combinable crops and root vegetables production and provides us with an operational base in another key location. In addition, the excellent storage facilities on site mean that we can farm and store our produce all year round.”

Christopher Sparrow, Head of Rural for the Duchy of Lancaster said: “This extended landholding makes Park Farm a signature holding for the Duchy and adds to our growing portfolio of Grade I and II farmland in Lincolnshire. We are very fortunate to have such a high number of commercially successful tenant businesses in this area and delighted to be able to help those businesses expand into adjoining land wherever possible. Elveden Estates has core values which are closely aligned to those of the Duchy and we welcome them to the Southern Survey.”

This is the third significant investment that the Duchy has made in Lincolnshire in the last 12 months.


Posted in Latest News | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Duchy Creates New Office At Lancaster Castle

The Duchy of Lancaster has opened a new office at Lancaster Castle. Following a six-month refurbishment project, the former Debtors’ Workshops have been sensitively restored to provide a modern office and meeting room suite capable of accommodating up to a dozen people. 

One of the major considerations in developing the design for the new offices was the Duchy’s desire to retain and celebrate the materials used in the original construction of this 19th-century block. As a result, the open plan office suite features natural exposed stone walls and doorways as well as sophisticated touch control lighting and multi-media facilities. Every effort has been made to protect the integrity of the original design and construction, while ensuring a contemporary space which is both functional and fit-for-purpose.

Commenting on the project, Duchy CEO Nathan Thompson said: “One of the Duchy’s strategic objectives for Lancaster Castle is to restore the fabric of these historic buildings and bring them back into use wherever possible.  The new offices demonstrate that quality of workmanship that we are looking to achieve and provide a clear statement of intent with regard to our commitment to the Castle.”

The room at the base of the Victorian clock-tower has also been refurbished to create a space celebrating life at the Duchy. It houses a standing exhibition of wall-mounted panels which explore the origins and history of the Duchy of Lancaster as well as the Duchy’s links with Lancaster Castle.

Restoration work continues to the front of the famous John O’Gaunt gatehouse and entrance to the Castle and this phase of work is due for completion in Summer 2017.



Posted in Latest News | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Traditional and Contemporary

The Duchy of Lancaster continues to offer its unique mix of contemporary living spaces in heritage settings with the refurbishment of a stone-built cottage in the heart of Weston village on the historic Crewe Estate in Cheshire.

Fennel Cottage was originally built in the mid to late nineteenth century and has formed part of the Duchy’s Cheshire Survey since the 1930’s. Earlier this year, plans were unveiled to restore and enhance the 3-bedroomed property, remodelling the interior to reflect modern family life. This included the conversion of a former garage/workshop into a double height state-of-the-art dining kitchen with full length bi-fold glass doors onto the rear garden and patio. As a result, tenants can now enjoy uninterrupted views of open fields while sitting down to breakfast or entertaining al fresco.

Local contractors and craftsmen were appointed to deliver the works and the project was overseen by the Duchy’s managing agents, Savills and their Architectural & Building Services team.

Commenting on the finished scheme, Duchy Head of Rural Christopher Sparrow said: “In Cheshire, as elsewhere across our rural residential portfolio, the Duchy is establishing a reputation for quality of design and finish. We are investing time, money and effort in getting these properties right – not just in terms of immediate repair and maintenance, but in fitting them for the future. We have a duty to protect and preserve these historic buildings and to ensure that they reflect the way in which we live today.”

Fennel Cottage received record levels of interest prior to opening and has been let to existing Duchy tenants living elsewhere on the estate. Commenting on their reasons for choosing Fennel Cottage, they said: “We have seen a number of properties that the Duchy has refurbished over the last year or so and have been very impressed with the quality of the finish and the craftsmanship on each. Fennel Cottage is everything we could wish for and we are delighted to be able to make it our home.”

The Duchy of Lancaster owns 77 residential properties across Cheshire as well as 11 tenanted farms, 16 business premises and 1,415 hectares of residential land. In the last 12 months it has invested around £1,088,889 in 8 major residential refurbishments on the estate.  

Posted in Latest News | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Tenant For Centenary Park

CRW_2845An online cosmetics company has taken a lease on Unit 8 at Centenary Park in Trafford, Manchester this month, following a surrender of the lease by the previous tenant.

The company, which supplies over 10,000 products to its customer base across the UK, will take on the 58,000 sq ft warehouse under a 10-year repairing and insuring lease. The annual rent has been agreed as £332,000 (£5.75 per sq ft) with a 12-month rent-free period in the first year.

Centenary Park comprises six detached industrial/warehouse buildings in Trafford Park on the outskirts of Manchester. Developed by the Duchy of Lancaster in 2013, it offers a total of 165,000 sq ft of space, with each unit offering between 17,000 and 54,000 sq ft and each benefiting from a secure private yard.

Commenting on the deal, Mike Andrews, Head of Urban for the Duchy of Lancaster, said: “With the huge growth in online retail, we are seeing growing demand for distribution warehouses of the right specification and in the right locations.  This new letting demonstrates that our units at Centenary Park meet these key criteria for growing businesses.”

Posted in Latest News | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

New Bursary Award For Construction Skills

Moulton College skills 1 The Duchy of Lancaster has launched a bursary to be awarded annually to students of construction and conservation courses at Moulton College.

From 2016/17 a maximum of 2 students each academic year will receive an award of £2,500 from the Duchy to support them in their studies and encourage the development of highly skilled construction and conservation professionals.

Commenting on the rationale behind the new award, Duchy Head of Project Management Graeme Chalk said: “The skills shortage in the construction industry has been well documented over a number of years. The Duchy wishes to encourage students to develop these skills and support the pursuit of excellence in conservation and construction techniques. Moulton College seemed like the ideal partner for this and we have been very impressed by the passion and professionalism of the students who have applied for the award.”

Andrew Bailey, Assistant Director of Student Services at Moulton College added: “The College specialises in vocational programmes, so a strong emphasis is placed upon applying knowledge through practical skills development and first-hand experience. We are delighted that the Duchy of Lancaster has chosen to partner with us to offer this bursary and we have had a tremendous response to the launch, with some excellent applications for this inaugural award.”

Interested students were asked to put together a slide presentation outlining what the bursary would mean to them, as well as completing a personal interview before the final selection was made.  The winning students have been named as Tom Roscoe from Fleckney, Leicestershire and Peter Maynard of Olney, Buckinghamshire. Both are Level 2 students studying for a Diploma in Stonemasonry and they will receive their awards at the College’s annual scholarship presentation evening in June 2017.

The Duchy of Lancaster already supports agricultural students at Myerscough and Harper Adams Colleges and invests over £10,000 each year in academic awards and grants.

Posted in Latest News | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment