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Cultivating second careers could enhance Farming's future


Diversification could provide a valuable enhancement to the long-term success of farming in Lancashire, according to a local agricultural expert.

While land-based industries are facing tough challenges from global pricing pressures and changing technology, most businesses are remaining positive and are constantly seeking ways to develop and diversify their operations.

Speaking at a special farming seminar in Preston, Nick Marsh, senior agri-business partner at Yorkshire Bank's Financial Solutions Centre in the city, said there are endless opportunities to establish second income streams through maximising farm resources.

He said: "Diversification is a key option to consider because the agricultural industry is under pressure, especially from low pricing. Farmers could benefit from looking at other opportunities and income streams by utilising existing resources on their farm.

Many Lancashire farmers have already boosted their incomes by setting up holiday cottages, caravan parks and bed and breakfast accommodation to industrial storage, clay pigeon shooting and farm shops and restaurants to name just a few.

During the seminar local farmers, John Stott, of Laund Farm, Chipping, and John Park, of Low Sizergh Farm, Kendal, also gave an insight into their experiences of diversifying their working farms.

More than 50 farmers from across the county attended the free seminar staged at the Macdonald Tickled Trout, Preston. The event was organised by Preston-based independent financial advisers Elementum Ltd in conjunction with DWF solicitors.

Peter Pearson, from Elementum; and Chris Scott, from DWF, also addressed several topics including succession planning, inheritance tax, available grants and many other issues facing the agricultural industry.

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