June Ponderings - 2022

June Professional Ponderings

The honours have fallen to me to write my very first Professional Ponderings and introduce myself having just joined Bletsoes as a Chartered Surveyor.


I grew up on a mixed farm at Orton in Northamptonshire, where in my spare time I continue to farm with my father and wife. I attended the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester where I graduated with a degree in Rural Land Management, and I then joined a local firm completing my APC to become a Chartered Surveyor.


Some of you will recognise me from the market or my time at Melton Mowbray Market where I began my auctioneering career selling the sundries and Fur & Feather before progressing to the calves and pigs. I then moved to Shrewsbury Market where I sold the cull ewes and machinery together with assisting with the general running of the market.


Having decided to focus on my skills as a Chartered Surveyor, I then worked for two national firms where I provided specialist advice in respect of Compulsory Purchase and Compensation acting for both landowners and acquiring authorities on local and national infrastructure projects for both road and rail together with water schemes. My experience from being on both sides of the fence puts me in a strong position to provide the best advice regarding any schemes that may affect you or your land. I have also been providing valuation advice for a variety of purposes from business and tax planning to secured lending.


DEFRA have recently announced new funding available to farmers and growers to process, diversify and add value to their products. Grants will pay for Capital Items to enable agricultural products to be processed after they have been harvested or reared.


Eligible items include:

  • Equipment for preparing or processing edible agricultural products for added value sales.
  • Equipment for ‘second stage’ processing of grain.
  • Equipment for processing non-edible agricultural products.
  • Premises for the preparation or processing of added value agricultural products including associated integral storage areas.


The grant is competitive therefore the RPA will score your application against the funding priorities. The minimum grant you can apply for is £25,000 and the maximum grant available is £300,000 per applicant business. Grants cover up to a maximum of 40% of the eligible costs of the project.


Further information is available at  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/adding-value-grant-for-farmers-to-improve-crops-or-livestock


If we can be of assistance with the grant or provide any advice regarding your proposed plans please do give us a call.


This week sees the majority of the Bletsoes team attending Cereals on Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th June at Chrishall Grange, Duxford and then out again on Saturday 11th at the Northamptonshire Young Farmers County Rally at Bugbrooke.  If you are attending either or indeed both events, please do come and join us for a drink.


I look forward to meeting you in due course and if I can be of assistance, please do contact me.


Richard Spendlove

Rural Chartered Surveyor

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