Over the course of 2021, the sale of Forebank of Canterland has been a hugely rewarding experience for George Hipwell, Director and Head of Rural & Agency, and fellow Director Lewis Anderson of the Aberdeen office.
The farm, which centred around an imposing Grade A listed farmhouse, extensive traditional steading and 290 acres of mainly arable land, was left to RSABI in the will of the late owner – a significant gift and one of material importance to the charity following the turbulence of Covid-19. We were instructed in late 2020 to undertake the Red Book valuation for reporting to HMRC and to manage the property with the ultimate objective of ensuring a successful sale in 2021.
Launched for sale in June at “Offers Over £2.7M, and following significant interest, it went to a closing date 6 weeks later when it was placed under offer with the sale completed in December 2021 achieving in excess of 20% over asking price.
“The team at Davidson & Robertson were friendly, professional and proactive throughout the sale process”, commented Nina Clancy, CEO of RSABI during the sale. “George Hipwell went above and beyond to secure an outcome for the charity that far exceeded our expectations. He was supportive, showed great attention to detail and kept us up to date as the sale progressed. As a result, Mrs Erskine’s legacy will help even more people in Scottish agriculture for generations to come.”
In close consultation with the Executor, we devised a strategy to manage and maintain the property, whilst maximising income from plant, machinery and farming activities in such a way that ensures vacant possession could be granted at the point of sale. Including:
- Introducing a local plant and machinery auctioneer to catalogue, clear and sell the machinery.
- Regular property inspections and coordinating necessary repairs and maintenance.
- Providing specialist agricultural consultancy advice to implement and manage contract farming activity.
- Converting old grass leys to arable cropping, increasing income to the farm.
- Completion of drainage repairs and creation of some larger fields to increase efficiency and productivity.
- Implementation of short-term grazing agreements to maintain the farm in good heart.
- Procurement of Basic Payment Scheme Entitlements through a lease and purchase arrangement, generating additional income without extra cost.
“It has been a fantastic project to be involved with; an opportunity to demonstrate D&R’s range of expertise and our ability to add value,” added D&R Director George Hipwell.
Should you be considering a farm sale or purchase, our dedicated sales team is on hand to provide the expert advice that will help you achieve your objectives. For a confidential, no obligation discussion please contact George Hipwell or a member of the Sales Team on 0131 449 1155.