50 Thoughts to Inspire your Rural Diversification Opportunities
Posted on 27th August 2023 at 18:22
Over the last year we have been sharing our experience and knowledge on diversification in the hope it will give you some inspiration on how you can make additional revenue streams from your property and what planning permissions you might need.
Our blog series has covered many topics including:
· Producing and selling food and drink.
· Business premises.
· Pet Service Facilities.
· Using your land for green activities.
Whether you're a farm owner seeking to expand your enterprise or rent your land to a third party, a property investor looking to make the most of your land, or simply someone with an entrepreneurial spirit, this final wrap up blog wrap is for you.
We have scoured the options and curated a summary of 50 of our top ideas for diversification to boost your income. From farm cafes to wedding venues, veterinary facilities to camp sites, you'll be amazed at the variety of opportunities which may be available to you.
So, sit back, relax, and get ready to embark on a journey of exploration and inspiration as we take you back through our top land diversification options:
1. Earning additional money from your land falls in to 2 categories, changing use of land/buildings just to rent out for someone else to use or to provide new goods or services to sell yourself.
2. One of the best ways to connect with your local community and build a loyal customer base is by opening a farm cafe. By showcasing your farm's produce or sourcing locally, you can offer an experience that highlights your goods while creating awareness for your farm.
3. Adding a farm shop offers the added benefit of allowing customers to purchase the ingredients used in your dishes, promoting a sustainable and eco-friendly approach.
4. By adding a food processing unit to your rural land or property can help your business save money, make money or both!
5. Food prep for catering is well worth considering. This will involve preparing either your own or bought produce for use in commercial kitchens. Rural settings can offer the space to work with large quantities of produce that urban areas don’t have.
6. If you have any unused land or buildings, you might want to consider offering storage solutions to individuals and companies. While this can be a lucrative opportunity, it's essential to bear in mind that changing the use of rural buildings and hard-standing areas may require planning permission from the relevant authorities.
7. For those with a passion for horses, offering livery services can be an excellent way to add value to your farm and generate additional income. You can provide various livery services such as turn-out, part-livery, or full livery options, depending on the level of care you wish to provide for the horses.
8. If you have the space and resources, setting up a veterinary facility on your rural land can be a highly beneficial addition. By offering a safe, secure, and comfortable environment for animals to receive care, you can provide an essential service to the local community.
9. Consider that a vets facility can also be used as a centre for training veterinary students, providing a great opportunity for knowledge transfer and community outreach.
10. If you are searching for a low effort and profitable way to offer a relaxing countryside experience to people, a campsite can be an excellent option.
11. As the demand for outdoor and rural weddings continues to grow, a wedding venue can be a lucrative and exciting addition to your land. With recent changes in the law allowing outdoor weddings in licensed venues, this is the perfect time to capitalise on this trend.
12. Diversifying your land doesn't necessarily mean running the activities yourself. You can create a space that can be rented out to a third party, allowing you to generate revenue without the need for direct involvement.
13. Many small business owners would like their business to operate in the countryside for many different reasons. Some may want a more pleasant office environment to work from without having to deal with the hustle and bustle of the town, commuter lifestyle or parking issues.
14. Change of use of buildings to offices or staff facilities will require consideration of all aspects of use including style and materials for its conversion, access, traffic management, parking and health and safety.
15. Business tenants whose work generates noise or other annoyance factors, for example engineering or wood turning, might need additional support to secure planning and be sited away from housing. In our experience, it’s important to work with the local planning authority to find the best solution.
16. Business storage, you could allow storage for plant and equipment as well as LGV and HGV vehicles too (providing you have the space, of course!).
17. Parking or storage of caravans, motorhomes or horse lorry/trailers when they are not in use.
18. Changing the use of redundant rural buildings and hard standing areas, such as farmyards, barns and stable yards usually requires planning permission.
19. Think horses! One of our favourite things! The majority of owners require grazing as well as stabling. There are currently approximately 847,000 horses in the UK, fueling a massive £4.7bn equestrian industry.
20. Horses require space for grazing, handling and training and redundant farm property/land offers great opportunity for such an enterprise.
21. DIY Grazing. In its simplest form, you can offer grazing for owners to keep their horses on a DIY basis.
22. 1 acre per horse is the minimum stocking density but will depend on your soil type and drainage. Robust fencing needs to be of suitable height, quality and type to meet the needs of the size and type of horse.
23. Changing the use of land from Agricultural to Equestrian may require permission. Simply grazing horses does not, however as soon as any added handling/training is planned, it probably will require permission.
24. Grazing and Stabling - DIY. A level up from offering grazing is to offer grazing and stabling. Your property may already have stables or you may be looking to build new stable complexes or convert an existing agricultural barn into stables.
25. Livery offers the opportunity for additional services for which you can charge.
26. Turn-Out Livery is when you offer to put the horse out and or bring it in on certain days.
27. Part-Livery involves looking after the horse more comprehensively on a day-to-day basis for an agreed number of days per week, charged at a daily rate.
28. Full Livery is likely to cover 7 days a week and may include exercising the horse an agreed number of times per week.
29. Professional Equestrian Facilities, such as competition yards (specialising in dressage, show jumping, eventing and a range of other equestrian sports).
30. Polo yards, equine trainers/ agents, breeding/studs and racehorse training could be another viable option for your rural land and property.
31. If you have a yard and facilities which you are not using, you could rent it out to a professional. This may not require any planning permission, depending on whether you wish to increase the range of facilities to maximise the income potential.
32. Riding school. There is a real lack of opportunity for parents to bring children to learn to ride. However, it is a significant investment in both facilities and horses.
33. Grooming Service. Your redundant farm buildings and land could provide a lovely place for our pets to come and get some TLC or an exercise area for dogs to run safely.
34. Pet Shop. A rural pet shop can provide an authentic feeling by allowing pet parents to find food, toys and accessories for their pets in a setting that is closer to their natural habitat.
35. Whether it’s going on holiday, moving house or going away for work, many pet owners require accommodation for their furry friends for several reasons. Being able to offer a variety of options can help you become the go-to place for both short-term day-care or long-term kennels or catteries.
36. The humble B&B could be a brilliant option for those who are looking to provide a personal, family feel for their guests. You can expect a high turnover of guests. There are also specialist booking agents such as Farm Stay who attract people specifically interested in staying on farms.
37. Self-Catering Stays. You provide a great place to stay, your guests sort everything else out.
38. From glamping to camping and from caravans to camper vans, your rural land could be an amazing place for people to take some time away from the hustle and bustle of the working life and relax in the countryside.
39. Mid-Long Term Seasonal Workers. You might like to consider opening to seasonal workers who work in the local area, sometimes for weeks and months at a time. Offering accommodation to workers could guarantee your income for a longer period.
40. Conference Venue. These should be flexible, large and comfortable spaces that offer a more professional feel.
41. Gone are the days of traditional weddings as couples seek to make their special day unique to them. With the passing of a new law which now legally permits people to get married outside as long as it’s in a licensed venue, this is the perfect opportunity for you to diversify your rural land and property in this way.
42. Green Burial Grounds. This can be a human or pet cemetery with woodland planted around.
43. Composting/Materials Recycling and Handling Facilities. If you want to make greener home improvements, you can use your land to offer services for recycling materials such as wood chipping from forestry or recycled earth taken from construction excavation works.
44. A pick your own farm is a sustainable way of living where your food comes directly from the ground to your plate organically.
45. Solar and Wind Farms are great ways to generate additional funds for your enterprise, selling to the National Grid, as well as helping you to power your home and/or business without adding to your carbon footprint.
46. A significant percentage of flowers in the UK are flown in and not grown locally. Having a flower farm means you can grow your own British flowers and reduce your carbon footprint by having a shorter distance for the flowers to travel from field to vase.
47. Sustainable Woods and Tree Planting. Planting your own trees can reduce the greenhouse effect by removing carbon dioxide from the air and releasing oxygen. This helps to reduce our environmental impact. You can also grow your own sustainable wood, the wood is harvested in a way that ensures healthy and sustainable growth. If you have development land, bear in mind it is a requirement to meet the Biodiversity Net Gain criteria.
48. Hosting events on your land can provide a steady stream of income. By renting out your land for activities such as festivals, car boot sales, film locations, bushcraft, off road bike events, clay pigeon shooting, corporate events, and more, you can turn your land into a profitable venture. The cost, both capital and ongoing, of hosting events on your land can vary, but the potential for profit is significant.
49. By utilising your land or farm buildings, you can establish a unique and profitable business model that fully maximises the potential of your property. With careful planning, proper permits, and safety measures in place, you can create an attractive destination that draws in visitors and generates revenue, all while providing unforgettable experiences for all who visit.
50. Let Landscope be your trusted partner in realising the full potential of your land diversification endeavors. Our team of experts can provide valuable guidance and support to help you navigate the process smoothly. With careful planning and creative thinking, you can transform your land into a vibrant destination that stands out from the crowd. Embrace the possibilities and watch your land come alive with thrilling adventures and enriching learning experiences.
For more details on any of these ideas, feel free to go back through the series on our website!
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