The second phase of a plan to raise £20 million by selling a number of county council-owned farms begins this month.
The first round has already raised £11 million to be reinvested in Staffordshire.
Two farms will be advertised for sale with vacant possession, while six more are being offered with sitting tenants.
Philip White, Deputy Leader of Staffordshire County Council and Cabinet member for Economy and Skills, said:
Money from the sale of the ‘non-core’ part of the estate will be used to support health and care and investment in Staffordshire’s physical and electronic infrastructure for the future.
Some of the money will also be reinvested in the County Farms estate. We will still have around 6,600 acres at the end of this process and will continue to give ambitious newcomers the opportunity and support they need to take their first steps in the industry.”
The county council regularly reviews its land holdings and this sale, which began in 2019, extends to around 1,700 acres and comprised 16 let farm holdings and other vacant land and property not considered to be part of the ‘core’ estate.
Tenants at the selected farms were offered the opportunity to buy first. Three are doing so, while others took the opportunity to move to larger holdings on the ‘core’ estate to expand their business while allowing the vacated smaller farms to be sold.
Others have retired or will continue as sitting tenants for the new owners.
The remaining core estate has tenancies ranging in size from 30 to 200 acres and includes 14 starter farms for newcomers to the industry.
Philip White said:
Our farms offer commercially-minded aspirational new entrants, many of them young, a foothold in the industry, with many going on to run larger farms, either as part of the council’s County Farms estate, or in the private sector.
Not only is Staffordshire continuing to support one of the county’s core industries, our tenants make a valuable contribution to our rural economy.”
The farms involved in the final phase of the sale are at Hilderstone, two at Upper Wollaston near Church Eaton, two at Rugeley and one apiece at Gnosall, Penkridge and Garmelow, near Eccleshall.