A team of highly experienced business growth specialists that challenge and inspire. 

£312k breathes new life into an ailing farm​​

UK farms to benefit from diversification strategy for generations to come

Over the last two or three decades, the farms which populate the landscape of the UK and have shaped its topography through centuries, have experienced profound change. Over reliance on EU direct subsidies (55% of farmers’ income in 2017) and conditional on fulfilling environmental obligations, combined with shortage of labour and the ever growing supply chain dominance of supermarkets driving down prices paid to farmers to bolster their own profits has forced more than 1,000 small to medium sized farms  to close in the last thirty-six months. With many more farmers nervous about the commercial impact leaving the EU will have on farming in the short to medium term. Our client was such a farm. As a  family they had spent more than a quarter of a century rearing high quality, rare breed cattle and pigs on their ten-acre homestead. But growing commercial pressures had pushed them into financial difficulty and needing to sell their farm to clear debts unless a scalable, replacement income could be secured.

Building a workable case for funding

Funding the initiative wasn’t straightforward.  Although the homestead was owned outright, our client’s lack of working capital necessitated the expeditious release of equity reserves in assets and property. However, with an agricultural tie on the  property combined with the funding limitations of our client’s age made it difficult to find a natural match in the high street. So we settled on a two stage debt funding strategy that solved the initial capital requirement through a specialist lender and then would follow on with a conventional commercial mortgage once new ownership arrangements were in place. 
stage1: Bridging loan (1to12 months term)
stage 2: Commercial mortgage (30 years term) 

Signs of growth

In-depth planning 

​​First stage funds reached our client at the beginning of February 2018. The development is now underway and retail takings accelerating to 120% of first period expectations. Happy client ;)
 ​​​​After an in-depth consultation with Citizen’s strategy team and FCA partner, we recommended a move away from the rigour of day to day pastoralfarming and to use the farm environment to create three food service destinations that had at their core heritage and food quality, attributes synonymous with our client. Each one capable of individual monetisation, but together they work as a unique economic eco-system with an inherently high value ‘field to the plate’ solution. An innovative, commercial expression of farm diversification that would stimulate farm productivity, establish an undiluted selling relationship with consumers, and create a blueprint for a farm foods solution to scale and franchise in the future.
Want to know more?