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.
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.