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Stackyard News July 2012

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College Expands into Domesday Estate

Agricultural legal experts at a Cumbrian law firm have advised a Yorkshire college of further education on a multi million pound estate acquisition.

Burnetts’ Head of Agriculture Partner
Richard Miller

Richard Miller

The specialist team from Burnetts in Carlisle advised Askham Bryan College on their purchase of 340 acres on the historic Askham Richard estate in North Yorkshire.

The land, which borders the Askham Bryan campus of the land-based college, will be farmed and use as a practical resource for the students' studies. It is also planned to establish arable trials and run a shoot on the land.

Richard Miller, Partner and Head of Agriculture at Burnetts was the lead solicitor on the acquisition. He said, “This was a sub purchase as part of a significant commercial property transaction meaning that we had to act with a great deal of efficiency and organisation in order to secure the purchase for our client. This was a major acquisition of a property comprising tenanted farms, the sale of any one of which would have been complex in its own right. The timescales involved were very challenging – we essentially had to fit what should have been at least 12 weeks’ work into less than four weeks. Had we failed, it could have been generations before the same opportunity arose again for the College to expand its operations locally. With a lot of a hard work, the deal was concluded to the satisfaction and relief of all parties concerned.”

Askham Bryan Principal Liz Philip and the College’s farm manager, Mark Patch

Liz Philip and Mark Patch
Burnetts has been independently ranked as one of the top advisers in the further education sector and was first instructed by Askham Bryan College in July 2011 when the College acquired the Newton Rigg site near Penrith.

Principal Liz Philip said, “We were delighted to have the opportunity to purchase land which adjoins our additional holding. It will be of huge benefit to students at both our Askham Bryan and Newton Rigg campuses. Our aim is to ensure our students have the best possible resources to work with. This is our green laboratory as well as a fully commercial operation developing valuable agronomy and business management resources which will benefit all our students.”

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