22 April 2021
We are delighted to share our episode from the OnFarm podcast. Speaking alongside Douglas Home & Co Chartered Accountants, our Managing Director, David Seed, discusses agritourism, diversification and the predicted staycation boom.
Staycations were on the rise before the coronavirus pandemic began, however, this crisis has significantly accelerated the growth of UK holidays. Many landowners and farmers may be considering renovating farm buildings into holiday lets, creating a new glamping facility or simply allowing caravaners and campers access to maintained grass fields. However, there are a lot of considerations you must think about before getting started.
The main thing you must undertake is thorough financial planning. This includes a full costing review as many times there are hidden expenses that clients haven’t thought about. From there you may need to consider raising funds specifically for this new project, there are many loans and grants available to help you with this stage, for example, AMC loans.
Another key component that you must take into consideration is whether you own the land and buildings or are tenant farmers. If you are tenants, you must gain the permission of the landlord before undertaking a new business development opportunity. If you believe there are opportunities you would like to pursue, we advise tenants to speak to a professional business such as ourselves to ensure you approach this in the best possible way.
We also strongly advise any farmer or landowner who is new to working with the general public to consider the additional workload which comes with the new project. Depending on what you would like to do, you will need to factor in time and costs to maintain a site or property, this can include multiple changeovers per week if you are looking at holiday cottages. Your insurance may also need to be altered. Marketing, promotion and the ability to allow bookings will also need to be considered; again, this takes time and money to be done correctly.
Even though all these considerations may seem overwhelming to begin with, many rural businesses can make a great success from diversifying into agritourism. Having managed several estates and visitor attractions, the fbrseed team have first-hand experience about the challenges you may face and can therefore provide support to help you make the most of a new opportunity.
Please contact our team if you would like further information about any of the topics covered.
You can listen to the full podcast where we delve into the challenges and success stories of diversification into agritourism here.