Entrepreneurial and enthusiastic tenants are being invited to apply for the opportunity to take on one of four Cambridgeshire County Council farms.
Successful applicants, including first-time farmers, will be offered five-year farm business tenancies, which range from a starter unit to large, equipped holdings.
Anna Hicks, rural surveyor at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “This is a good opportunity for entrepreneurial and enthusiastic individuals to get onto the farming ladder or for those looking to progress to larger holdings.
“Last year we received a lot of interest in the eight holdings that were available and the standard of applicants was extremely high.”
One of the success stories from 2017 was Lee Smith, who tendered for and won a five-year FBT at Wolvey Holes Farm in Coveney.
Lee said: “The application process was very thorough and made us think carefully about our business plan. Getting the farm has been a great opportunity to expand my business. The county farms team has been very helpful and supportive since we took on the holding.”
There is a viewing day for the holdings on 14 February and the deadline for all tenders is 9 March 2018. Interviews will take place on 19 and 21 March 2018. The tenancies will start on 11 October 2018.
Full details about the farms, and the application process, can be found at www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/countyfarms.
The four county farms currently available are:
- Engine Farm, Whittlesey: an equipped holding comprising 244 acres of predominantly silt clay loam soil. Cropping over the last few years includes potatoes, wheat, sugar beet and rape. The holding has general purpose buildings and comes with a three-bedroom bungalow.
- Lynchets Farm, near Royston: a starter holding comprising 144 acres on the Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire border, suited to combinable crops. There is a large general purpose building and a detached three-bedroom house.
- Black Drove and Station Road Farm, Isleham: 225 acres of chalk over clay and silty clay loam soil available as bare land.
- Bulldog Bridge Farm, Littleport: the largest acreage on offer through Cambridgeshire County Council this year is 335 acres of bare land at Littleport, eight miles north-east of Ely. A range of arable crops have been grown across the peat clay loam soil. Four general-purpose buildings and a detached four-bedroom house are included in the tenancy.