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Crown Estate to offer tenants chance to buy

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Crown Estate to offer tenants chance to buy

SOME tenant farmers are to be given the chance to buy their farms, if they wish to do so.

Crown Estate Scotland last week unveiled the draft proposals and the detailed process for managing sales to secure tenants, which are in the final stages of consultation.

Subject to any further changes, it is planned to launch a pilot initiative next month for tenants in Applegirth Estate, near Lockerbie, and Auchindoun in Moray.

Farming tenants in the pilot areas will be invited to submit proposals to buy the farms they currently lease from Crown Estate Scotland.

The initiative has the potential to increase diversity in land ownership and give those who may want to stop farming and potentially give someone else the opportunity to take their unit, to do so in a planned and managed way.

The process to manage buying the farms is being developed in consultation and engagement with a range of people and organisations who may be impacted including farmers themselves, the Scottish Tenant Farmers Association and the Tenant Farming Commissioner.

Investment and sales programme director for Crown Estate Scotland Andy Wells said: “We see this as a really positive opportunity for our tenants, and one which we hope will further increase diversity in land ownership.

“The surrender of tenancies will also potentially allow tenants who are wishing to step back from farming and who have no successors to exit the sector in a planned and managed way that benefits them. This will allow Crown Estate Scotland to then consider the options for the future of these units including providing potential opportunities for new entrants to farming.”

Any farming tenants who do not wish to take up this opportunity will be unaffected, and will continue with their leases as normal.

Details of the draft process can be found on the Crown Estate Scotland website at www.crownestatescotland.com

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