As the saying goes – tomorrow is not promised. As such, it is important to plan ahead to make sure you get to where you want to be. Whether you’re starting a new business or planning to retire, succession planning is vital to protecting the future of your farming business and moving you in the right direction.
The Scottish Government recently announced changes to funding requirements for succession planning. This means farming businesses can now access up to £1,000 in funding through the Farm Advisory Service (FAS) for specialist advice on succession planning – without the need for a prior Integrated Land Management Plan (ILMP).
This change in funding streamlines the route to accessing support, saving farming businesses valuable time and effort.
Do you have a plan in place for when your circumstances change?
The average age of farmers in Scotland is over 50 and it’s estimated that less than 50% of farm businesses have established a succession plan. Succession can be a tricky subject to broach for many as it may involve awkward conversations among family members or colleagues. However, if handled correctly and at the right time, succession planning can provide certainty for the longer term.
Yet, doing this alone can be daunting. Enlisting the help of a professional adviser to lead discussions can remove the anxiety from those initial tricky conversations about your business vision and growth plans. This is where FAS can help. Our advisers are here to help build your confidence when looking at business viability, profitability and technical efficiency; and to provide an independent and objective viewpoint to help guide discussions.
It is recommended that succession plans are reviewed regularly, particularly when there is a change in family circumstances, or to your tenancies or land occupation. Succession planning funding support through FAS is open to all farming and crofting businesses in Scotland at any stage.
Start making plans now for the future of your farming or crofting business to allow for a smooth transition when the time comes to hand over the reins.
To apply for a succession plan of up to £1,000 or for more information, please visit https://www.fas.scot/specialist-advice. Alternatively, call 0300 323 0161 (up to 30 minutes of free advice available) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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