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New entrants to farming : approaching landowners and banks – event summary

6 December 2016

This event took place at 7pm on the 6th December at the Woodlands House Hotel. The topic was Approaching Landowners and Banks. This was a subject area that had been requested by some of the group members who had attended last years meetings.

Landowners were represented by Alan Nisbet, the Estate Manager at Queensberry Estate (owned by the Duke of Buccleuch). Alan took the group through a “real life” tenancy application and discussed what the Estate had looked for from the candidates and what had ultimately proven successful. You can read through a copy of Alan’s proposed tenancy agreement here.Person giving a PowerPoint presentation

Banks were represented by Malcolm Morrison of Santander Bank. Malcolm is the Head of Agriculture for Santander. He took the group through questions the bank would need answered before offering a loan to a new entrant (or indeed any business).  Read through Malcolms presentation here.

Both speakers were very positive about the group and encouraged me to consider looking at setting up a “Planning 2 Succeed” type discussion group for the members. They both offered their help in the future.

Michael Halliday concluded with a short presentation on the FAS and the Mentoring Service.

Key Points:

  • Banks will look at: Experience; “The Journey” of the business; Business Plan; Budgets; Cash Flow; Credit Searches; Communication & Leadership
  • Banks should provide: A quick yes or a quick no; Partnership; Business Guidance; Fair deal for customer & bank
  • Look for advice or a mentor. “I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow” (Woodrow Wilson)
  • If you are looking for land- make yourself known to the local landowners / estates. They may not be looking now, but may keep you in mind for future opportunities
  • Build up capital, a good CV and connections within the industry. These will all help when applying for tenancies and finance
Person giving a PowerPoint presentation

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