How to apply for a council farm

Where we advertise

We publish details of Council Farms to let on this page. We also advertise our farms in the Wednesday edition of the Western Morning News. You should find these in the Farming section. If you have registered on our mailing list we will write to let you know that a farm is being advertised. 

For short term bare land lettings where we are seeking a good custodian for the land in the short term (up to 2 years), we will

  • advertise on this website
  • send details to existing tenants and those on our mailing list
  • plus invite any neighbouring young farmers who have expressed an interest to farm it short term.  

On average we re-let between three to seven farms each year. Most Council Farms are offered to re-let in the months prior to the traditional start dates for tenancies of September or March. However, they can become available at any time throughout the year. We recommend you check this page regularly.

Holdings to Let

Please check here regularly for holdings available to let. 

How to apply and reletting policy

Before making your application for a council farm you should read the particulars and attend a viewing day. This will enable you to meet with Surveyors and Land Agents and to understand the farm on offer and provide the opportunity to ask any questions relating to it. After the viewing date you will then be expected to:

  • Submit a full application which includes your business plan for the farm, personal details and references. Business plans should include an outline of the proposed business and its enterprises (to include diversification or off farm income) and their respective gross margins, fixed costs and cash flow budgets. This is to demonstrate it's viability and an indication of future development.
  • Your full application will then be considered by a panel of Council officers who will study all tenders received. From these a shortlist of applicants will be selected.
  • Of the selected a Land Agent will visit prospective tenants to inspect existing holdings and arrange for financial and personal reference are taken up.
  • Interviews are undertaken by the same panel of officers which take approximately an hour and will include a short presentation on the business plan.

Applications are considered giving weight to the following criteria:

  • Technical ability, relevant experience and qualifications - 35%
  • Environmental awareness – 35%
  • Financial strength and available capital – 25%
  • Rent tendered – 5%

We let farms under the Agricultural Tenancies Act.

When the successful applicant has been selected, the farm will be offered for a fixed amount of time, this varies from farm to farm and currently falls between the range of 11 to 20 years. A single extension of the original term can be applied for, for a term not exceeding 5 years, subject to satisfying certain criteria to include adherence to the terms of the original tenancy.

We provide Council Farms generally for progression purposes, such as a stepping stone to a larger farm. Through its equality, diversity and inclusion policies, the Council seeks to encourage all applicants that can fulfil the selection criteria to apply.

Existing tenants and external applicants have the opportunity in tendering for larger units on the Estate. This gives further opportunity to build enough capital to tender for larger farms in the private sector.

Need help?

Most issues can be resolved online, it's the quickest and most convenient way to get help.

Your feedback is important to us

Help us improve our service