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Norfolk County Council invites applications for tenants on its County Farms estate

Opportunities have arisen for people to run their own farms in West Norfolk in the latest round of tenancies being offered by Norfolk County Council.

The tenancies range from five to ten years and NCC is inviting applications for four farms on its County Farms estate.

One of last year's successful candidates, Joe Rabicano, who took over his farm from the council while aged just 18, has been cited as an example of how tenancies are open to anyone, whatever stage they maybe in their farming career.

Bank Cottage Land at Terrington St Clement (28858095)
Bank Cottage Land at Terrington St Clement (28858095)

Joe, who now regularly writes a column for the Lynn News about his farming experiences, was appointed tenant of a holding at Ashcroft Farm on NCC's Southery Estate last summer.

The four farms have soils varying from Grade 1 to Grade 2. They are Bank Farm at Terrington St Clement, Ingleborough Farm at West Walton, NCC Farm on the Welney Estate and New Road Farm on the Stow and Marshland Estate.

Although there are no restrictions on use, the council is keen to receive applications for Ingleborough Farm which seek to develop a care farm on this holding.

Apart from the bareland at Bank Cottage, near Terrington St Clement, each farm also includes a range of farm buildings.

Cllr Greg Peck, NCC's cabinet member for commercial services and asset management, said: “We welcome applications for County Farms tenancies from all backgrounds and will assess each on its own merits.

"One of last year’s successful applicants is just 18 years old, which demonstrates there are opportunities for people at all stages of their farming career – from a new entrant looking for their first farm to those ready to go to the next level. Offering these tenancies underlines the council’s support for sustaining and creating rural employment throughout Norfolk.”

Viewings for the four tenancies are being held towards the end of February and attendance at the viewing day is compulsory for those wishing to apply.

Farm viewings are being held between 10am and 4pm on Tuesday, February25, at NCC Farm, Welney Estate;Wednesday, February 26, at New Road Farm, Stow and Marshland Estate; Thursday, February 27, at Ingleborough Farm, West Walton Estate; Friday, February 28, at Bank Cottage Land, Terrington Estate.

To help with the application process, Norfolk County Farms, in conjunction with Anglia Rural Consultants, is running a free training course over two days, March 5 and 12, specifically designed to assist new entrants and those unfamiliar with producing a business plan.

Duncan Slade, County Farms manager, said: “Farm tenancies don’t come up very often so we’re really pleased to be able to offer four again this year. We have quite a strict tenant specification so applicants should make sure they consider the selection criteria carefully.

"We’re especially keen to see applications which include proposals for diversification and environmental enhancement, however applicants who show they are capable and the best able to take on the farm and make it work stand every chance of being successful.”

Further particulars for each farm, application details and information about the training course can be found at www.norfolk.gov.uk/countyfarms. The closing date for applications is noon on Thursday, March 26.

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