Is diversification Important?

The short answer is Yes . . .

A massive 90% of farm businesses are small or medium sized family-based enterprises. In order to continue in this ever-changing environment and create extra income, they need to think outside the box.

Over 65% of farms have in some way diversified thus enabling additional economic support to farming families and the rural economy. Farm income now supports fewer family members; therefore, diversification can introduce complementary revenue streams that can help families continue to farm.

Farmers can essentially re-use existing buildings for diversified projects like for example farm shops, storage, workshops or food production thus creating extra income and, in some cases, local employment. Farms can also offer a quality environment in a rural location for those who appreciate a countryside setting. Farm shops offer an outlet for local produce and artisan foods for customers and visitors and at the same time help the local economy.

As mobile phone coverage and broadband continues to improve in rural areas, business potential, including the ability to attract tenants and operate more efficiently and effectively increases. Types of diversification can therefore change, opening up some new markets.

Diversifying doesn’t come without challenges and risks, these can include planning, capital costs, business rates, feasibility studies and more.

Local and neighbourhood plans can support diversified economic development and can help to retain important local services. Local Enterprise Partnerships and local authorities also have roles to play in providing the business skills and possibly funding support for the project.

Diversified farms play a crucial role in the rural economy and to ensure all planning regulations are adhered to it’s important to seek professional help.

If you would like to know more about planning permission for your next project – be it farm shop or farm park it’s important to speak to the professionals first.

For more information please contact: –

Davies & Co
Chartered Surveyors & Rural Consultants
NN16 0BU
01536 524808/ 07850 555026 or email

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