View more on these topics

Smith & Williamson EIS explores farmshop and dine concept

The country food and dining enterprise investment scheme fund aims for growth by investing in up to five out-of town businesses that combine eating out with farm-style food shops.

The directors of the EIS have identified a gap in the market for places where people can eat out and buy fresh local produce. They have found that these markets are served by separate industry sectors. Locally produced food is found at quality supermarkets such as Waitrose, farm shops, and delicatessens, but any dining facilities they have are limited to tea room/cafes or to daytime dining.

The directors of the EIS believe there will be a market for their country food and dining concept because of increasing demand for healthy, locally sourced food and the rising popularity of eating out. They think the concept will have particular appeal to affluent over-50s who are more likely to appreciate less noisy out of town premises, and to health-conscious higher income families.

The directors will be looking for freehold or long leasehold premises that can be seen from A roads or major B roads. The sites will be at least 3 acres with the ability to extend to provide outdoor dining space for the summer months.

The directors include David Bruce, Gordon Leatherdale and Jonathan Shearme. Bruce is chief executive of the Capital Pub Company and has been involved in the leisure and brewing industry for over 40 years. Leatherdale has 13 years experience in leisure, management and finance, while Shearme has over 20 years experience in setting up and running out of town food retail and dining sites.

Last year the directors raised £2.3m through an EIS to buy Highclose Farm Shop near Hungerford. This was bought because it has a good location, the business has been established for 10 years and planning permission has been granted to extend the main building. In addition, a canal marina is being built nearby which could be helpful and there is no direct competition within a 30-mile radius. The directors also believe there is plenty of room for improvement and have identified ways in which the weaknesses of the business can be addressed.

Other sites that may be bought include garden centres, which have the space for development. Some may be off market opportunities generated through property agents such as Knight Frank.

However, there is no guarantee that suitable sites will be found and planning constraints may prevent suitable sites being developed as expected.

Recommended

Life Trust income plan is long bet, claims McPhail

Hargreaves Lansdown head of pensions research Tom McPhail has branded Life Trust’s new longevity income plan a “gambler’s investment” as it does not return value unless investors live until their mid-90s.The plan is a lump-sum investment designed to provide an individual with a rising income the longer they live but McPhail calls it a “high […]

Royal London new life and pensions business down 1%

Royal London’s total new life and pensions business was down 1 per cent to £1,903m in 2007 from £1,919m last year.The group’s new business results for the year ending 31 December 2007 also show that group pensions were down 15 per cent at £489m, which it attributes to a fall in single premiums and transfer […]

Suitable case for treatment

Perhaps I am just naive. I have always found it quite difficult to understand the need to have an initiative called treating customers fairly. After all, shouldn’t service companies being doing that already? Isn’t that the core of their business offering?

Mark Page: why my biggest overweight stock is a discount Spanish retailer

Artemis European Opportunities Fund manager Mark Page is questioned about the merits of investing in Spanish supermarket group, Dia. Dia is a 7,000-store Spanish discount supermarket chain. But with cheaper food prices coming on to the market and an improving Spanish economy, journalist Alexis Xydias questions Mark about its inclusion in the Artemis European Opportunities […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment