Land Business Spring/Summer 2018

Q2 2018

It is an uncertain time for the rural economy. Brexit, of course, is the major challenge we face, but there are other factors that will have profound effects on the future for rural businesses.

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There are proposed changes to farming subsidies, with greater emphasis on natural capital rather than food production. There is the growing housing crisis and the shifting demands of residential tenants. And there are the myriad ways in which new technology is transforming how we shop, live and work.

So against this backdrop of radical change, is it time for landowners to be equally radical in the way they think about estates in order to secure their longterm futures? Turn to page 24 to read our thoughts.

Preparing for change is as much about spotting opportunities as it is about warding off threats. An example is hydroponics, which is an increasingly viable method of growing food. It’s allowing one innovative company to produce greens beneath London’s streets, and could be an option for traditional rural businesses too. Read all about it on page 18.

And on page 10, we visit the Crathorne Estate in North Yorkshire, which has fostered a community spirit among its residents by attracting the right tenants to run its thriving businesses. In these changing times, such an approach could prove particularly astute.

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