Duchy Expands In Whitewell

As part of its strategic acquisition programme the Duchy of Lancaster has purchased a further 226 acres in the Forest of Bowland. Higher Lickhurst Farm marches with the Duchy’s Whitewell estate and the steading includes a range of modern agricultural buildings as well as an agricultural dwelling in need of refurbishment. In addition to the farm’s 226 acres of pastureland the acquisition also includes ownership of two-thirds of the adjoining Stanley Common which covers a further 96 acres.

Higher Lickhurst has now been let to John West, the owner of a neighbouring 120-acre farm where he runs a herd of pedigree Brown Swiss cattle.  Higher Lickhurst Farm will provide accommodation for his youngstock which are currently split between a number of short- term FBTs and grazing agreements.

Commenting on the acquisition, Duchy Head of Rural Christopher Sparrow said: “We are delighted to be able to extend the south western corner of the historic Whitewell Estate. This acquisition adds a significant quantum of pasture land to help us to redress the balance of upland grazing prevalent on the Estate and we look forward to working with John in the months ahead to integrate both steadings effectively and efficiently.”

The Whitewell Estate now extends for some 6,369 acres within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that is the Forest of Bowland. It is part of the Duchy’s Lancashire Survey which also includes Estates at Myerscough, Salwick and Wyreside.

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Grade II Listed Cottage Restored and Re-Let

Working closely with the Conservation Officer of Scarborough Borough Council, the Duchy of Lancaster has completed its latest refurbishment on the Cloughton Estate in Yorkshire. The double-fronted period cottage at 25 High Street has been fully renovated to the Duchy’s own design guide and quality specification, creating a spacious and comfortable family home in the heart of the village.

The property was previously let to long-standing tenant Mrs Elsie Barlow who sadly passed away last autumn after having lived in the property for over 50 years. Neighbours at 45 High Street were regular visitors during recent years, providing lifts and helping out with shopping.

In the early stages of the refurbishment, they applied for and secured the tenancy. “We have always liked the house and we were eager to take it on ourselves” one said . “It has been beautifully refurbished and updated so I can only hope that we will be as happy in this lovely cottage as Elsie was.”

The Duchy of Lancaster developed its own Design Guide and Quality Specification in 2016 to ensure a consistent quality standard across its rural residential portfolio. In the past 3 years it has refurbished approximately 50 properties in line with the design guide.

Commenting on the project, Duchy Head of Rural Christopher Sparrow said: “Restoring a Grade II listed building always present challenges so we are very careful to retain as much of the building fabric and character as possible. At the same time, we appreciate that all of our properties need to offer a standard of comfort and quality that today’s tenants have the right to expect. We are delighted to be able to welcome a new generation of tenants to this lovely cottage.”

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Lancaster University Moves Into Lancaster Castle

Lancaster University is to open a new academic space in the former Link Block of Lancaster Castle.

The University has signed a two-year lease to operate the new purpose-built teaching suite completed last month as part of the Duchy’s latest phase of renovation and conservation.

A seminar room with a capacity for around 60 people will be used for academic events, teaching and training purposes. It will offer history and conservation students the chance to learn in a venue at the heart of their academic studies. Teaching for subjects with a particular relevance to the medieval Castle will take place during the current academic year. A small number of public events, building on the University’s links with the city, as well as staff and business meetings, will also take place in the venue.

Professor Dame Sue Black, Lancaster University Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Engagement, said: “Having a city-centre campus extension in Lancaster’s historic castle allows us to develop a major presence in the vibrant heart of the city with which we at the university have always had such strong connections. The new venue also provides the opportunity to foster successful partnerships, with businesses, community organisations and with the City Council. Working together with the Duchy of Lancaster, we are positive that we can both benefit and ensure that heritage is at the heart of the vision for the city.”

Andrew Burgess, Lancaster University Director of Estates, Facilities and Commercial Services, said: “Students will be able to enhance their academic experience through teaching as part of history-based lectures. Our links with leading business and public sector organisations will also give them the opportunity to meet with our local partners in this historic space.”

Duchy Chief Executive Nathan Thompson added: “We are delighted to welcome Lancaster University to the Castle. This partnership aligns perfectly with the Duchy’s ambitions for these historic buildings and supports the development of a heritage asset which serves as a cultural hub and centre of learning for the local community as well as for visitors to the city.”

The refurbished Castle was re-opened to the public last month after a two-year restoration and conservation project focused on the lower courtyards and buildings. As a result of the works, the Castle now offers visitors the chance to enjoy a remodelled piazza, covered cloister walk, gallery space and a new purpose-built visitor café operated by Atkinsons.

 

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Swaledale Excellence at Goathland

Duchy tenant Mark Graham hosted an Open Day for members of the North Yorkshire Moors Swaledale Group at Hunt House Farm last month as the final stage of a 3-year research project.

Supported by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), the research project looked at how farmers might adopt performance recording techniques, improve growth rates and develop consistent carcase traits through structured breeding programmes. Organised and managed by the North Yorks Moors Swaledale Breeders Group, the event included a range of presentations and live demonstrations.

Sam Charlton, AHDB Knowledge Exchange Manager, said: “This is an innovative project which is looking to address some of the key challenges upland farmers face with performance recording sheep flocks. The producers involved are developing solutions that other hill producers can adopt, whilst also improving the carcase traits of their Swaledale sheep so they can meet the growing demands of the market. It has been a privilege working with this enthusiastic group of farmers and we are delighted to now share the results with the wider industry.”

Congratulating Mark on the success of the Open Day, Duchy Head of Rural Christopher Sparrow said: “This was an excellent, well run and well attended event at Hunt House Farm. It is important for our upland hill farmers in Yorkshire that the Swaledale breed remains at the forefront of sheep-breeding in the UK. An honest and open forum amongst peers is often the most beneficial to all concerned and something we try to encourage. We congratulate Mark and would like to thank all members of the North York Moors Swaledale Breeders Group for sharing their knowledge and experience with others.”

The work of the North York Moors Swaledale Breeders Group forms part of AHDB’s Farm Excellence Platform, which inspires industry to improve performance and succeed through farmer-to-farmer knowledge exchange.

Hunt House Farm extends to 1,312 hectares forming part of the Goathland Estate on the Duchy’s Yorkshire Survey.

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Liquid PR Chooses New Oxford House

New Oxford House in the heart of Birmingham’s commercial and financial district continues to build its reputation as a centre for culinary excellence with the addition of specialist marketing consultancy, Liquid.

Liquid is a public relations, design and marketing consultancy with offices in London, Guernsey and Jersey. The consultancy works for a broad range of clients across the full spectrum of industry sectors but is particularly well-known for its specialist food and drink team which includes a chef director, nationally acclaimed food writer, graphic and web designers, public relations consultants and social media experts.

Previously based in Enterprise House on Edmund Street, Liquid will relocate its Midlands operation to the newly refurbished 3rd floor of New Oxford House from 5th September and join our existing tenants including the Michelin-starred Adams restaurant and award-winning Pieminster pie shop on the ground floor.

Commenting on the letting of the space to Liquid, Duchy Asset Manager Marcel Desmily said: “We are delighted to welcome the Liquid team to New Oxford House. Our refurbishment of this building is part of our active asset management plan undertaken floor by floor and it is testament to the high specification of workspace and excellent location that Liquid has chosen it for its new office. We want to ensure that we continue to offer the local business community the highest quality office accommodation available anywhere in the city.”

Elisabeth Lewis-Jones, CEO of Liquid, said: “It was important for us to remain in the heart of Birmingham’s vibrant Colmore business district, both for recruitment and ease of access for our clients located across the UK. This move sees us invest heavily in our workspace from a demonstration kitchen for our food division to a team theatre for presentations and informal meetings. The quality of the office space and flexibility it provides will future-proof our growth over the next ten years.”

Situated on Waterloo Street and just a short walk from the Bullring, ICC and Birmingham’s excellent city centre bus and rail services, New Oxford House is managed by commercial property agents KWB Property Management Services.

For further information on Liquid PR please visit the website www.weareliquid.com.

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