ONE of the largest and most successful farm parks in the North of England is looking for a new owner. The Whitehouse Farm Centre near Morpeth which opened its doors to the public in 1997 and offers visitors an extensive range of indoor and outdoor attractions and activities is on the market.
The Farm which has been owned by the Slater Family for more than 30 years was originally a poultry farm but it now welcomes well in excess of 110,000 visitors a year.
Keith Slater, whose family has developed and run the farm centre for 11 years, says: “The family have enjoyed developing the farm centre and its adjacent commercial units and we have been particularly pleased with the support we have enjoyed from the public from all areas of the North East. A particular success story has been the large number of school visits. It has been a privilege to play a small part in enthusing large numbers of young children about animals and the countryside in general. Not only good fun but very worthwhile.”
In recent years the emphasis has been on increasing the amount of indoor activity areas to enhance the appeal of the centre in all weathers and at all times of the year. This has led to an impressive increase in the number of visitors.
Keith continues: “It will be sad to give it up, as it is way of life for us and not just a job, however the senior members of the family are “creaking” somewhat and the younger members have other interests they wish to pursue.”
The company is now looking for a party with stature and enthusiasm who can carry the farm centre and its commercial units forward.
The farm is being offered for sale by Youngs Chartered Surveyors, with joint agents Savills, as a whole or in three separate lots.
Graeme Bruce from Youngs' Alnwick office says: “I've been working with the Slater family for four years and and know they will be sad to go. It has been a very interesting period of development. I think what the Slaters have achieved in developing the centre is very impressive. The property still offers significant scope for further development of both the visitor centre and commercial property portfolio. I know that the family’s main priority is to find that special someone who has got what it takes to take over the reins with the same passion and enthusiasm as they have shown over the last 11 years. I know that if they cannot find the right party to fit their criteria the farm will continue under family ownership. However whatever the future holds without doubt Whitehouse Farm Centre will continue to be the North East’s premiere farm attraction.”
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