Buccleuch investing in rural economy

The Duke of Buccleuch said that his company's investments will make a "significant contribution to economic development in the South of Scotland".
The Duke of Buccleuch said that his company's investments will make a "significant contribution to economic development in the South of Scotland".

Buccleuch, one of Scotland’s largest private landowners, has reported pre-tax profit of £4.8 million.

Parent company The MDS Estates Ltd, which comprises business interests of the Buccleuch family from commercial property to rural land management, said the figure included profits on the sale of rural properties of £9m.

Its accounts for the year ending October 31 2017 show the pre-tax profit also included a tax rebate of £723,000.

John Glen, Buccleuch chief executive, said the group’s adjusted operating loss before tax of £4.8m is a “more meaningful representation of the business’s underlying trading performance this year”.

He said that in the last year Buccleuch has seen progress being made across its commercial property, energy and hospitality and tourism sectors, that Buccleuch Property outperformed year on year and a record 250,000 people visited Dalkeith Country Park, where an additional 70 people are employed.

Mr Glen said: “At the same time as increased investment within the estates, we are also reducing our overall debt levels.

“We continue to invest heavily in rural Scotland and this is at a time when we will approach a post-Brexit policy framework that will present some very real challenges for rural businesses.”

The Duke of Buccleuch, chairman, added: “These results reflect our ongoing strategy of investing across our three principal strategic sectors: commercial property, renewable energy and hospitality and tourism. These investments will make a significant contribution to economic development in the South of Scotland and create employment opportunities in these local communities.”

The group said it will review its rural assets, in line with its ambition to reduce the overall landholding of Buccleuch. It added that it is committed to balancing economic, environmental and community considerations within its land use decision-making

The duke added: The Glenmuckloch Pump Storage Hydro Scheme in Upper Nithsdale, the expansion of tourism and hospitality operations at Dalkeith Country Park and the development of other renewable energy projects remain key priorities for Buccleuch.

Buccleuch business activity includes the management of Scottish Estates at Bowhill, Queensberry, Dalkeith and Langholm and Boughton Estate in Northamptonshire.