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July 2017 will be an auspicious month for north east based land agents GSC Grays, as they celebrate the appointment of a new Farm Business team.

The new team, who will be based at new GSC Grays offices in Chester-le-Street and Alnwick, will be headed up by Robert Sullivan.

Robert, who has lived in County Durham for many years, has over 25 years of experience of providing advice and guidance on all aspects of the modern Farming Business.

Robert’s specific areas of expertise include: Agronomy Advice, Farm Management, Strategic Business Planning, Contract Farming, Share Farming Agreements and Joint Ventures, Farm Business Consultancy, Basic Payment and Cross Compliance Advice, Farm Business Reviews and Restructuring.

“I am thrilled to be joining GSC Grays as head of the new Farm Business team.  Their ethos of putting their clients first is very important to me especially in these uncertain times.” said Rob.

“Establishing the new Farm Business team seamlessly complements the current areas of expertise within GSC Grays.  It provides our growing client base with a complete range of consultancy services for all their rural advice”.

The new Chester-le-Street office, which Robert will be heading up, is situated in the Bowes offices on Lambton Estate, part of a number of converted former estate farm buildings and providing easy access to all parts of County Durham and beyond.

Ali Gray, Rural Director, has also joined GSC Grays to work alongside Robert and he will be heading up the new GSC Grays office on Cawledge Business Park in Alnwick.  Ali is well known across Northumberland and the North East and is an experienced Farm Business consultant, who has lived and worked in Northumberland for 14 years. Having grown up living and working on a family farm, Ali’s focus is very much on Farm Business services.

Ali has experience of working with a number of progressive farming clients throughout Northumberland and Durham, dealing with a range of activities from running farms in a Farm Management capacity, through to dealing with Subsidy and Environmental Scheme applications.

Ali added ”At a time when farmers are facing significant challenges and changes, joining GSC Grays in this new role will allow me to  focus on what I do best and help steer our industry through Brexit. Opening the new office in Alnwick is an additional challenge, but one I am enthusiastic about making successful”.

Ali can advise on all aspects of farm business financial management, budgeting, financial monitoring, Whole Farm Appraisals and an assortment of farming arrangements.  Ali also specialises in Rural Development Grant Applications, helping clients research, plan, secure consents, finance and set up new diversified enterprises.

Rob and Ali will also be joined by Farm Business Consultants Ben Rogerson and Sam Dale, who have previously both worked with Rob and Ali for a number of years.

In addition to the Farm Business services on offer, both offices are supported by a land agent and project management team under the guidance of Calum Gillhespy, one of the company’s founding shareholders.  This team can provide a range of advice on matters as diverse as landlord and tenant; planning and development; valuation and project management, complementing the services offered by the new Farm Business team.

Guy Coggrave, Managing Director of GSC Grays commented “The opening of the Chester-le-Street and Alnwick offices is an exciting development for our business and enables us to service our increasing client base in north Durham and Northumberland, and provides a great platform for further growth.

Given the current economic uncertainty for many in the wider countryside due to Brexit and the associated economic climate, the opening of the Farm Business department couldn’t have come at a more apt time, when many farmers and landowners will be having to look differently and in detail at their business performance and structures.  Robert and Ali are ideally placed to work alongside landowners and farmers across the region to ensure they and their assets are delivering the best returns possible and I am delighted to have both them and their team onboard, at the start of what is an exciting new chapter for GSC Grays.”

For more information on the services available through the new Farm Business team or to get in touch with Robert or Ali, click here.

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