Crown boosts rural profits

THE CROWN’S rural estate increased its contribution to the exchequer last financial year by £600,000.


Overall, the 110,000ha (271,000-acre) estate produced a net revenue surplus of £15.4m – all of which was paid to the Treasury – based on a turnover of £20.7m.


Its capital value increased by 9.7% to £572m.


Much of the extra turnover came from improved demand by the construction industry for minerals extracted from the estate and from an increase in residential and diversified income, said director of rural estates Christopher Bourchier.


“It’s fair to say we haven’t seen any growth from agriculture per se.


“We have continued to invest in rural enterprises including food production and non-farming ventures, enabling our farming tenants to re-orientate and strengthen their businesses,” he added.


All of the estate’s agricultural land is let under 490 tenancies with forestry covering 13,700ha (34,000 acres).


Mr Bourchier said the estate was always looking at opportunities to buy and sell land but last year sold under 400ha (1000 acre) and purchased between 400ha and 800ha.


“It is important to stress that we intend to remain a long-term rural landowner, although we will not necessarily always hold the same land.”


In total, last year, the Crown Estate was valued at £4.8bn with a turnover of £245m and a net revenue surplus of £185m. Urban property accounted for almost 75% of turnover.

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