Spotlight on Fresh Start initiative

Vice-chairman of the RICS International Rural Faculty, David Coulson, of Broadley & Coulson chartered surveyors in Crook, has been meeting with farmers and land agents across the region to discuss the Fresh Start initiative.

Vice-chairman of the RICS International Rural Faculty, David Coulson, of Broadley & Coulson chartered surveyors in Crook, has been meeting with farmers and land agents across the region to discuss the Fresh Start initiative.

An industry-led campaign to encourage new entrants into farming whilst at the same time helping established farmers think about how they will respond to the challenges and opportunities of CAP reform, Fresh Start was launched at the Smithfield Show on December 2 last year.

As well as advising farmers on how to restructure their thinking following the implementation of the Single Payment Scheme, advice was also on offer at the seminars concerning Fresh Start and how chartered surveyors, banks and accountants can provide additional support.

Briefings that have taken place in Sedgefield and Hexham have also included a short presentation on coppicing, discussing the opportunities for claiming SPS while growing an energy crop.

David Coulson, vice- chairman of the RICS International Rural Faculty, said: "I would advise farmers to look at the tax implications before diversifying and if they are planning an exit from farming it is important to look at how and where they would live, taking into account the 10-month rule, termination of tenancy dates etc.

"A chartered surveyor can provide you with advice on all of these matters and ultimately this should save you time and money, and give you added value." He said it was vital that people assessed the needs and requirements of the market.

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