Island farming could prove a tempting opportunity

It is rare to find a large commercial farm for sale on either the Isle of Man or the Isle of Wight, but now island-loving farmers have one of each to choose from.

Good-sized units were particularly unusual on the Isle of Man, said Keith Kerruish of local agent Chrystals, which is selling 565-acre Ballacorey at Kirk Andreas.

“The whole island is only 140,000 acres, 70,000 acres of that is moorland and there are probably only about 12,000-15,000 acres that are cropped.”

Farming on the island, which is not part of the UK or the EU, could be more profitable than the mainland, said Mr Kerruish.

“All of the milk is bought by the Isle of Man Creamery, which is a farmer co-operative, and producers get about 20p/litre overall.

The government also pays another 3p/litre to help maintain production.”

Milling wheat is sold to a government-owned mill and makes about £130/t, although shipping costs from Liverpool added to the costs of inputs, he added.

However, it is the island’s tax status that could prove really attractive, Mr Ferruish reckoned.

“The Isle of Man has no capital gains or inheritance tax, so Antrobus is not an issue.”

Ballocorey includes a 160-cow dairy unit, a 700t grain store and three large farmhouses.

There are also a number of traditional buildings with conversion potential, said Mr Feruish, who has guided the whole farm at £4.5m.

On the Isle of Wight, Strutt & Parker’s Kevin Prince has just launched New Wolverton & Kingston Farms, an 850-acre arable unit, near Yafford, that can support potato and vegetable crops, for almost £3.5m.

“It is a very early farm, new potatoes are ready a few weeks earlier.”

The best soil was located at New Wolverton Farm, said Mr Prince, who has guided 283 acres of irrigated land, a large range of buildings, including a refrigerated potato store, and a three-bed house at £1.25m.