Volatility in the agricultural industry has increased dramatically in the last few years. Brexit has only increased uncertainties for those earning a living off the land.
We have yet to see with whom we will be trading with when we leave the European Union, whether it will be with Europe or reliant on negotiating terms with the world market. The challenges this creates means there is an increased risk of financial difficulties for farmers. With the likelihood also that basic farm payments will dwindle and die, businesses must look at alternatives to secure their future. An added concern is whether restrictions on immigration will mean there is a lack of manpower to perform necessary agricultural tasks.
Changes in economic climate provide opportunities as well as challenges. Tourism is already worth £1.9 billion to the greater Lincolnshire economy and is expected to grow. There is no doubt that Lincolnshire and Yorkshire provide excellent locations for holidays in the UK, but there is still plenty of room for growth. With the weaker pound, the “staycation” has become more attractive and holiday parks are reporting a healthy growth in their revenues. The Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership has targeted tourism as one of its top three priorities for growth. Funding is available for specific projects through ROPE, LEADER funding and the Growth Hub.
Is now the right time to consider diversification?
Where farms and estates have seized the chances that are offered to them, they have increased the stability of their business. With income rising from diversifications such as tourism, renewables and property development, as well as income from sale of crops, businesses are well placed to weather the changes that are bound to come.
If you are considering diversification, speak to our team of dedicated tourism specialists.