Potter Group aquires Leighton Farm Estate
The Potter Group this week completed the purchase of the historic Leighton Farm Estate at Welshpool .
The formal transfer of the Victorian model farm, with seven houses and 200 acres of land, was completed from Powys County Council by James Potter.
The move, which was approved by the council’s cabinet earlier this summer, paves the way for the restoration of the Grade II listed building.
Powys Council's Cabinet Member for Corporate Governance and Assets, Property, Councillor Kath Roberts-Jones said; “The transfer completion will safeguard the long term future of this important site and provide a significant boost to the local community.
"James Potter's long term proposal is to create an equine centre at Leighton, building on his current National Hunt interests, and this presents tremendous possibilities for future regeneration, not just in the Welshpool area, but the wider Severn Valley.
“It has taken us sometime to reach this point but the creation of a prestige facility presents tremendous possibilities for future regeneration of the area. The development, when completed, will fund repairs to the Grade II listed site, improve public access and create much needed local jobs.
“The council believes this proposal protects the historic model farm buildings for future generations, she added.
James Potter said that he and his family were pleased to have acquired Leighton Centre and the surrounding land and were excited by the prospects of being able to save the unique collection of listed buildings that once formed the basis of one of the finest Victorian model farms in the country.
“We have lived in Leighton for many years and I consider it a privilege to be able to repair and restore Leighton Centre to something more akin to its former glory,” he said.
“Our long term aim is to use the centre to establish a stud, however, we recognise that the next 10 years will largely be taken up in undertaking listed building works whilst ensuring that the existing tenants can continue their businesses.
“We are under no illusion about how important this project is and will be working with all the relevant agencies to ensure a successful outcome.”
Leighton Estate was acquired by John Naylor in 1846-47 and he embarked on an ambitious programme of building, principally at Leighton Hall, Leighton Church and Leighton Farm, which was largely completed by the mid 1850s.
Naylor continued to extend and improve the Estate until his death in 1889. His grandson, Captain J.M. Naylor, sold the Estate in 1931, when Leighton Farm was bought by Montgomeryshire County Council, and transferred to Powys County Council in 1974.
In recent years the buildings have been converted to light industrial use.
Leighton Farm was a model farm where rational farming methods were employed using techniques derived from science and industry. It was characteristic of its period but especially notable for its scale.
Cabinet Member for Corporate Governance and Assets, Property, Councillor Kath Roberts-Jones formally transfers Leighton farm estate to Mid Wales businesman James Potter. Looking on are (Lto R) Councillor Linda Corfield, local member, Mr Steve Burgess, Councillor Wynne Jones, cabinet Member for Regeneration and Nigel Baldwin, Powys County Council Valuer.