Company calls for 20 landowner partnerships

Business space SM Farm
Chris Hill

Local alternative tourism business further.space is calling on landowners interested in diversifying into tourism to partner with it in a new accommodation venture, which will contribute to generating £27m in tourism revenue to the UK and Ireland by 2023.

Launched in November 2018, further.space is a new and innovative company set up to co-ordinate the provision and installation of design-led pods as tourist accommodation in unique and unexpected locations.

The start-up firm aims to establish up to 100 micro tourism business partnerships throughout the UK and Ireland and has already secured its first contracted partnerships.

Its target is to deploy 500 pods in hand-picked locations over the next five years, including 100 in Northern Ireland, with landowners seeking to maximise the potential of their land through tourism. Further.space is urging landowners committed to exploring tourism diversification opportunities to register their interest.

CEO of further.space, and former founder of Habitat for Humanity Northern Ireland, Peter Farquharson, said: “The island of Ireland attracts 12 million tourists annually; that equates to 72 million overnight stays.

“The demand for alternative accommodation options is growing with 37 per cent of tourists recorded as preferring non-traditional accommodation solutions, including pod based ‘glamping’ experiences in unique locations.

“Our vision is to empower landowners in off-the-beaten-track locations, particularly where there are accommodation shortages, to create profitable, sustainable and low maintenance tourism businesses on their land, that has both societal and economic benefits for the entire area.

“We are very interested in hearing from landowners who are interested in pursuing this opportunity with further.space.”

Diversification into tourism is, according to NFU Mutual, becoming a beneficial and rewarding way for landowners to generate extra revenue. For example, a recent NFU study dictated that 47 per cent of farmers planning to diversify considered camping, caravanning and other holiday accommodation as their preferred options.

Each further.space pod is forecast to deliver a minimum annual revenue of £18,000 per year. A partnership with four pods on site will generate an annual revenue of £72,000 per year and £720,000 over 10 years.

COO of further.space, and energy efficient housing entrepreneur David Maxwell, added: “Our research shows that while many landowners are attracted by the opportunity to diversify into tourism, they are also hindered by financial and logistical issues.

“At further.space, we provide a turn-key tourism solution for our business partners. We deliver a complete tourism package from financing and planning support to marketing and booking systems. This allows our partners to concentrate on the experience, by hosting the guests and maintaining the pods. Our aim is to de-risk the diversification process by providing the asset and minimising the financial outlay to empower landowners to tap into the benefits that tourism provides. A little unused land can be big business.”

Peter concluded: “Unique spaces in unexpected places is the key to success. All locations will be hand-picked to create experiences that go beyond the ordinary.”

n Landowners interested in exploring viable tourism diversification should visit further.space/ and complete an online enquiry form to register their interest.

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