Business Planning, Financial Forecasting and Grant Funding Applications for Estates

Across various sectors of financial services, CJM have shown a wide array of expertise. Working on projects which include financial planning, financial forecasting, grant and funding application guidance, as well as much more, CJM have proven adept at many facets of business planning. Here, we’ve looked back at some recent projects which showcase our full repertoire of skills. 

Developing Assets and Working with Estates

Client:  Estate in Dumfries and Galloway

Delivery:          November 2018

Build / Project Value:    £1-2m

Business Plan Delivery: 3 days (Started end June 2018 – November 2018)

During a changeover of management at the Estate, the stakeholders made the decision to review the use of its existing stable block. At the time, the wider asset base of the estate was being reviewed for commercial viability. The task was to prepare an initial business plan for the organisation to look at the options of redeveloping a steading into a wedding and events business. 

After meetings with the owners, several stakeholders and architects in which the demands of the market were reviewed and competitor analysis was undertaken, we developed a business plan. The plan provided a five-year forecast of the cost to build, and the annual running costs. We also prepared an operation forecast to see the potential revenue and associated costs of events. 

This was then tailored into the wider Estate business plan. This reviewed the refurbishment of the Estate cottages to be used as possible wedding and event accommodation for guests, but also for other accommodation to meet other visitors to the Estate. 

The business plan was successfully delivered to the satisfied Estate owners and to Business Gateway, who were supporting the project.

Business Plans to Support Funding Applications

Client:  Crossroads Community Hub / now Ayrshire Food Hub 

Delivery:          Ongoing – building in progress

Build / Project Value:    £1.4m

Business Plan Delivery: This has been a long-term project working with the Board to develop Business Planning and Financial Forecasting.

Crossroads Community Hub Ltd (CCH) is the product of the imagination, vision and ambition of a group of local people whose aim is to rejuvenate the rurally isolated community surrounding Crossroads, East Ayrshire. Following a well-attended harvest lunch and an initial door-to-door survey, it was apparent there was enough support from within the immediate rural community for a community hub on the site of the former primary school.

Crossroads Community Hub was established and an asset-locked company limited by guarantee was set up in 2011 to improve the social and economic regeneration of the area through the ownership and development of a new community asset. This new-build project will provide a unique combination of a community-led farm shop, community cafe, and a multi-use social/educational centre. The project will benefit residents through the provision of a meeting place, creating jobs, training and volunteering opportunities for local people. It will also serve to give greater access to health/social care services and showcase affordable, quality food, traditional recipes and culture of this rural area. 

CJM have been involved with the board and team at Crossroads, being asked on behalf of East Ayrshire Council to review the original business plan and develop more robust financial forecasting. We have been involved in revising the business plan, which has undergone several changes –such as the removal of the planned butchery due to non-viability, and transforming the building layout to match the available budget. CJM has been with Crossroads all the way and is still involved in the project, working with them on the rolling forecast of their planned income and expenditure, as well as reviewing cash flow for the build costs. 

The business plan provided by CJM was delivered as the response to the Cabinet of East Ayrshire Council and assisted in securing £920,000 from the RCGF fund. 

Financial Services to Benefit the Economy, Culture and Heritage of the Local Area

Client: Crichton Estate, Dumfries, Hub

Delivery: May and June 2019

Build / Project Value: £750,000

Business Plan Delivery: To deliver planning and application for a £550,000 grant from the South of Scotland Economic Partnership.

The Crichton Trust is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status, established in 1996 to promote, regenerate and care for The Crichton Estate and other buildings of historic interest throughout Dumfries and Galloway. Part of the Trust’s overall strategic responsibility is to develop the Estate with a clear identity as a place of educational, commercial, recreational, cultural and artistic excellence.

The estate comprises 85 acres of parkland and 27 historic buildings. The Crichton is home to the University of Glasgow, the University of West of Scotland, Scottish Rural University College and the Open University, 80 businesses, a refurbished 71-bedroom hotel and Easterbrook Hall (bistro and spa).

This proposal is to create a space to meet and connect for collaboration, knowledge exchange and co-working with a refurbished café. A broad range of partner agencies will also be delivering business start-up and entrepreneurial advice and investment. Crichton Central will create a terminus and interchange for ideas, a world destination of choice for the mobile worker and innovative thinker. 

Working with the Crichton, CJM delivered the financial forecasting for the project and in turn developed the application form to develop this unique hub. The goal of the hub is to attract both old and young, academia and entrepreneurs with a very structured heritage estate.

Direct employment generated from Crichton Central would be 3.5 FTE’s and 70 additional roles brought onsite as a result of the wider project implications. It is anticipated that Crichton Central would generate an additional £60,000 surplus for the Crichton each year after it is fully established in Year 3.

The SOSEP application has been submitted and at the last discussion with the representatives of the grant funding body, it was highly likely that the project would be successful.