The Revesby Estate sits in the heart of rural Lincolnshire, close to the market town of Horncastle. Dating back to 1143, it only became a private estate in 1539 when King Henry VIII gifted it to his brother-in-law. Its current custodians, the Wiggins-Davies family, can point to 300 years of unbroken family ownership since their ancestor Sir Joseph Banks purchased the Estate in 1714.
Today the Estate consists of 6,350-acres of arable farmland, grassland for livestock and silage, renewable energy production, residential and commercial property lettings, corporate hospitality, a deer park, a thriving forestry business and fisheries.
As clients of Duncan & Toplis for almost a decade, Peter Wiggins-Davies and his father Gavin are working hard to realise the value of their many assets alongside their real mission; to protect and improve the 1,000-year-old Estate’s natural environment, its historic assets and its local community and culture.
These future plans include land expansion and even greater diversification to capitalise on rapidly changing technologies in agriculture. However, the family values Duncan & Toplis’ personal approach to their work just as much, as David Gratton explains.
“Our work is about more than just finance; it’s about people. When supporting any family business, it is important to have a clear understanding of the dynamics involved and the long-term objectives. We’re helping the Wiggins-Davies family to maximise the value of their assets in ways that are aligned with their values. Peter is a driven businessmen and a true custodian - he wants to leave the Estate stronger for the next generation. We’re helping him to make this happen, from putting the best financial structures in place to undertaking sensible, tax-efficient succession planning so that Revesby remains a thriving rural enterprise for generations to come.”
“We are open minded and enthusiastic about all new growth opportunities,” explains Peter Wiggins-Davies. “We are not a museum or a charity, so we need the income to be able to realise our non-financial objectives. The key is to regard our history as a springboard from which to innovate and diversify for long-term, sustainable growth.”
The Estate has just completed an intensive, five-year growth plan thanks to the help of David Gratton, director in the Duncan & Toplis agriculture team.
“Duncan & Toplis have played a critical role,” said Peter, “sitting on our board, aiding with strategy and offering crucial operational advice. We have a strong relationship with Duncan & Toplis and feel we can always rely on them as a source of trusted business advice and as a sounding board for future ideas.”