NORTH-EAST of England land agents and chartered surveyors, Vickers and Barrass, have made a senior appointment aimed at building on their farm advice business.

Alan Falshaw joined the team as a farm business consultant to provide long-term strategic appraisals, financial advice, budget planning and information about new business development and commercial opportunities to farming and agricultural clients across the region.

He has extensive experience in completing countryside stewardship applications since the scheme was launched in 2016, as well as expertise in assessing diversification opportunities for rural businesses and funding applications through the Rural Development Programme England (RDPE) among other schemes.

The move comes as Vickers and Barrass, which currently employ 13 people across three offices, gears up to relocate its Crook operation to purpose-built premises at Darlington Farmers Auction Mart's new multi-million pound Humbleton Park site as an investment in additional facilities and resources.

Managing director, Adam Barrass, said developing a skilled workforce was paramount to supporting operations and Alan Falshaw would be a welcome addition to its expanding team.

He said: "We are making the necessary investments now, during this difficult time for the agricultural sector. This includes boosting our operations with investment in a new farm business consultant to extend the range of services we can offer to clients."