Manchester-based Brooks Macdonald Funds has opened an arable farm fund called UK Farming, with an initial target of raising £20m.
BMF also announces the appointment of Christine Tacon as chairman of the new business and Andrew Christie-Miller as a non-executive director. Tacon was managing director of the Co-operative Farms from 2000 to December 2011 and was an executive board member of Co-operative Food Retail. Christie-Miller was deputy chairman of Openfield Group until July 2010, a company which handles 4m tonnes of grain annually. He is a chartered surveyor and has farmed for many years.
UK Farming is an unquoted public limited company targeting investment in existing arable farms. The land will be farmed by established contractors for the company for the production of cereal crops, taking advantage of their demand for both food and, potentially, bio-fuel production.
Tacon said: "Farming is an industry of increasing interest and, though subject to many external market forces, one that with sound commercial management can prove a sustainable long term investment."
UK Farming has engaged Chesterton Humberts to seek land to acquire. Once acquired, the land will be farmed by the company to produce, predominantly, cereal crops.