Fish farm targets Yorkshire expansion after securing 15-year lease with Environment Agency

By Harrison Drury

01 Mar 2023

Costa Spring Hatchery Commercial Lease

One of the oldest fish farms in the UK has expanded with a third site after securing a 15-year lease with the Environment Agency.

The lease has enabled Costa Spring Hatchery Limited, a trout farm based in Dunsop Bridge, Lancashire, and Sinnington, North Yorkshire, to open a third farm in Pickering, North Yorkshire, and the business is already eyeing a fourth site to help it meet demand from the industry.

The three trout farms rear live trout that are supplied to recreational fishing lakes across the country as well as fingerlings supplied to other commercial trout farms. Its original Dunsop Bridge trout farm, which supplies brown and rainbow trout, was established in 1926.

Now one of the largest trout farm businesses in the UK, Costa Spring Hatchery supplies over 20 million fingerlings each year to support trout fishing in the UK.

Philip Mart, a director of Costa Spring Hatchery, said: “Recreational fishing remains the most popular sport in the country in participation terms and the demand for our trout is very high, so we’re delighted to have secured the lease with the Environment Agency for our third site.

“We have now set our sights on another location in Yorkshire to further expand the business and we continue to seek and recruit people interested in a career in trout farming because there is certainly plenty of work for them.”

Harrison Drury provided legal advice to Costa Spring Hatchery’s owners Philip Mart and David Jones in attaining the 15-year lease at Pickering. Our team had initially advised the pair on a management buyout of the business from the Birtwistle family in 2011.

Wendy Newbury, commercial property solicitor at Harrison Drury’s Clitheroe office, said: “It’s always a pleasure when a client returns to us for further advice when they are growing a business. Phil and Dave have a long history of trout farming in the region and their knowledge is unsurpassed. It’s no surprise their business continues to thrive.”

Philip added: “Wendy’s support has been instrumental in getting the business secured in Pickering and we are grateful for the speed and expertise she provided in organising the necessary paperwork and valuable advice to secure the lease.”

The new Pickering site is now the largest for the business and employs four full time staff and one part time worker. Owners Phil and Dave are seeking to grow its team at the site.

The Dunsop Bridge site employs four full time staff and one part time worker and its Sinnington farm is co-managed by the team at Pickering.

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