10:00pm Saturday 21st July 2012
THE Duchy of Lancaster, which provides income for the Queen, has risen in value to more than £400m for the first time, its annual accounts show.
The estate, which includes 4,650 hectares across Lancashire, announced that despite an 8.6 per cent fall in net operating income and a net surplus fall of 3 per cent, its overall value had grown by 5.8 per cent on the previous year.
The portfolio, contains large parts of the Forest of Bowland, as well as the village of Dunsop Bridge, where its first affordable housing programme, consisting of 12 homes, had been due to be completed by May this year.
The company leading the development, Naylor and Walkden, went into administration last week.
The estate is also made up of land in Yorkshire, Crewe, London and Needwood, in Staffordshire.
The Duchy is a private landed estate, which provides the Sovereign with a source of income independent from government and the public purse.
Paul Clarke, CEO and clerk of the Duchy Council, said that despite difficult economic conditions, the portfolio had performed well.
He said: “As anticipated, 2012 has not been an easy year for occupiers or the Duchy.
“But notwithstanding this, the results for the year have shown the resilience of the Duchy portfolio in adverse financial markets and the benefits to be gained from the continued drive to improve the quality of the assets within the portfolio.”
Mr Clarke said he believed the refurbishment of Wellington House, in London, the purchase of a new agricultural estate in Lincolnshire and the consolidation of the ownership on the Tower Bridge Business Park would help the estate to grow further.
He said: “We believe that we are placing ourselves in a stronger position with these prime assets while continuing to work on new schemes and initiatives within the existing portfolio.”
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