Skip to content

Moreton Estate

Case Study

Moreton Estate

Client: The Walled Garden, Employ My Ability (EMA)
Project Lead: Paul Tory

Turning an underperforming asset into an impressive and growing income stream. A good idea made a great one.

The integration of diverse estate assets deliver an incredibly successful commercial and social concept, one that has much more growth potential yet to be realised.

The Walled Estate, Moreton Estate Project - Fowler Fortescue – Independent Chartered Surveyors specialising in Rural Asset, Land & Estate Management

The village of Moreton is synonymous with the memory of TE Lawrence, also known as Lawrence of Arabia. He lived in Clouds Hill Cottage and is buried in Moreton churchyard. The village is also notable for the windows in its church, St Nicholas, which were designed and engraved by Sir Laurence Whistler.

These attractions ensure that the village has a steady flow of visitors and the Moreton Estate, which owns many of the buildings in the village, responded to that by making a public attraction of its Walled Garden, located in the centre of the village.

However, the Walled Garden proved to be an underperforming asset with significant yearly running costs, it was working hard just to stay still.

Starting afresh

Fowler Fortescue took on the management of the Moreton Estate in 2013 and has worked closely with the owners, developing their ideas and considerations and putting them into action. One of the stated aims was to reduce the liabilities of the assets and work towards a sustainable optimisation of the income from them over the long term.

Central to this direction of travel was providing the Walled Garden a better footing: the idea was to turn the garden into an educational facility and work began to alter the course and prospects of the garden without detrimentally affecting village life as a whole.

An idea evolves

The initial idea was that the Walled Garden could become an educational facility for SEND students and those with learning difficulties. A new business venture, Employ My Ability (EMA), was set up to manage that with long term growth and sustainability at its core. It enrolled its first students in 2015 and quickly became established as a central part of a number of councils’ educational provision.

EMA has worked hand in glove with its council customers to develop its offer, and its deep understanding and response to the students’ needs has been key to the success of the venture.

The garden now offers a unique environment that hosts hospitality, horticultural and retail facilities that help students develop vital skills, expertise and confidence. The work is underpinned by the offer of vocational qualifications and real, hands-on work experience which enable the students to leave with a clear pathway into employment within the local community.

The facilities provide a unique added attraction to visitors to the village as well as generating its own healthy tourist traffic.

Integrating more assets

In the usual way Paul Tory goes about his business, other estate assets in and around the village have been aligned to this venture. Being careful to ensure that each element is viable in its own right, Paul layered on these assets to support the central idea, in a virtuous circle.

The thriving business model that EMA have developed has been possible because the estate has been able to nurture the business from its foundation. And, of course, EMA’s growth directly influences estate income growth.

The Outcome

The Moreton Estate, with the help of Fowler Fortescue, have helped develop a beautifully complementary business where all manner of estate assets can be used to support future growth and where each corner of the triangle, Moreton Estate, EMA and the village of Moreton, are beneficiaries.

”What I think is important in any project is to align an estate’s assets to the full extent. The estate doesn’t operate in a vacuum and nor should its assets. Integrating at every opportunity delivers mutually supporting income streams. This of course increases the income from individual assets but it also builds greater resilience to the operation as a whole.”

Get in Touch...