Scottish Tenant Farmers Association

News Release


18th July 2018


The Scottish Tenant Farmers Association has welcomed the announcement last week that the Crown Estate Scotland Scotland is investing £4.5 million over two years in a range of activity on its four rural estates, including new buildings and infrastructure.

The investment is intended to go towards upgrading, renewing and replacing agricultural infrastructure as part of the organisation’s ongoing efforts to provide excellent tenant service. Some of the works will support tenants in developing and diversifying their businesses, many of whom are situated in remote rural locations.

It is understood that the CES is encouraging a tenant to retire in order to make another unit available to another tenant farmer.

STFA also is pleased to note that CES is in the process of carrying out a record of condition over its agricultural, residential and commercial units on the rural estates in response to recommendations made by the tenants’ representative working group.

Commenting on the situation STFA Director Angus McCall said; “It is heartening to see Scotland’s largest landowner investing so heavily in its rural estates and we hope this will provide an example to other estates. Farming businesses require continuing investment if they are to remain competitive and landlords should take a long-term view of estate management and either invest in the farm infrastructure themselves or to provide incentives to encourage their tenants to invest.

“STFA does, however, remain concerned that CES may continue to consider selling vacant tenanted farms to raise capital as has happened recently with Auchenhalrig Rarm on the Fochaber Estate as well, as another couple of farm on Applegirth. As previously stated by STFA, it makes no sense for a publicly owned body such as Crown Estate Scotland to sell a 280ac tenanted farm while other public agencies are scratching around to find scraps of land which could be used to help young people to make a start in farming.

“STFA has recommended that, if CES requires to raise capital to reinvest in the Rural Estates it should either sell off some of its retail and office units or sell tenanted farms to existing long term tenants with successors. This will help provide stability, encourage investment in agricultural units and also help meet Scottish targets for greater diversity of land ownership.

“In a further welcome move the CES has recognised the need to include its agricultural tenants in feeding in ideas and comments to discussions on a long term rural estate strategy. However, STFA believes that the agricultural tenant should also be consulted and informed on any discussions relating to major policy or land use changes contemplated by the CES management board.”