Crown Estate invests £4.5 million to support Scottish tenant farmers

farms and wind turbine on a hill
Hannah Downey

Crown Estate Scotland, which manages 37,000 hectares of rural land on behalf of Scottish Ministers, is investing £4.5 million over two years in a range of activity on its four rural estates, including new buildings and infrastructure.

The investment will support tenants in their day-to-day operations and will also benefit the wider rural economy in those areas. Some of the works will support tenants in developing and diversifying their businesses, many of whom are situated in remote rural locations.

Fiona Simpson, asset manager at Crown Estate Scotland, said:

“We always aim to support our tenants and be a landlord of choice, and this capital investment programme is further demonstration of that.

“As the needs and requirements of our tenant farmers are constantly evolving, we can’t stand still. We continue to work to find new ways of helping to ensure they have the facilities they need to benefit their operations, which in turn is good for the wider local economies where they are."

The £4.5m investment will be used in a variety of ways, from the construction and upgrading of farm buildings to improvements to access and other infrastructure. The investment will for the most part go towards upgrading, renewing and replacing agricultural infrastructure as part of the organisation’s ongoing efforts to provide the best service possible for tenants, and tenants will be fully involved in any decisions made. In response to tenant feedback, the organisation is also carrying out a condition survey covering agricultural, residential and commercial units on the rural estates.

Some specific examples of how this investment is being used include:

  • Four new large general purpose buildings on farms at Glenlivet

  • A range of improvements at other properties to prevent damp and strengthen roofs

  • A contribution to Tomintoul & Glenlivet Landscape Partnership works

  • A surrender payment to free up a farm for re-letting

  • Major drainage and tree-planting works on the Whitehill estate

  • A new replacement silage pit at a Fochabers farm

  • Roof works on several farms at Applegirth

In addition, a programme of electrical and asbestos related works is being carried out, as well as ongoing improvements to farm water supplies. A further £2.4m capital has also been budgeted to acquire properties when tenants approach Crown Estate Scotland.

Crown Estate Scotland is self-financing and has around 115 farms and over 200 agricultural tenancy agreements spread across four estates, and they are responsible for ensuring that the land is used in a way which brings environmental, economic and social benefits to the wider community.