Diversification Survey

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Savills is conducting a survey in order to appraise the performance of diversified businesses and collate data on trading and visitor businesses based on farms and rural estates. This follows the results of its estate benchmarking study which showed that farms and estates are increasingly diversifying into less traditional income streams to complement their core businesses.

According to Savills, the contribution of agriculture to rural estates has fallen from 50% in 2000 to 38% in 2017. Ian Bailey, director of rural research, says, “Economic pressure and the need to spread risk, especially with the uncertainties that surround the outcomes of Brexit, mean that understanding the performance of alternative income streams is highly relevant to rural businesses”.

The survey covers the following diversified businesses: Holiday accommodation, weddings and receptions, outdoor events, house/garden openings, cafes/restaurants, farm shops, and other visitor attractions.

The results will enable the establishment of some key performance indicators which individual businesses can use as a benchmark. Participants will receive a report with their results against the benchmarks.

A recent scoping survey showed almost one third of respondents have holiday accommodation (including glamping, caravans and camping) and a similar proportion open their houses and/or gardens. One quarter host weddings and receptions, and more than 10% operate a farm shop. Results will be announced at the Farm Business Innovation Show at the NEC, 8-9 November.

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