Keeping a Cornish gem sparkling
Enjoying a beautiful, unique location on the Helford River, the Trelowarren Estate boasts recorded history of over 1,000 years, the last 600 of which have been in the hands of the Vyvyan family. We talk to current owner Sir Ferrers Vyvyan about what makes Trelowarren beautiful and unique, and how he’s keeping this magnificent estate thriving.
The 1,000-acre Trelowarren Estate sits in one of Cornwall’s most breathtaking spots on the Lizard peninsula – a location that feels remote, is not over-populated and overflows with natural Cornish beauty. Today, as well as the imposing main house, the estate features 22 self-catering holiday cottages, a spa, swimming pool, restaurant and art gallery.
Led by Sir Ferrers Vyvyan, the estate first ventured into the tourism business in the 1970s when it became a touring campsite. Keen to make the most of the stunning surroundings and demand for holiday accommodation in the area, the family sought planning permission for 30 holiday homes to be merged into the historical housing stock, impressing planners with their commitment to meet the requirements arising from the estate’s Grade I listing and location in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
In 1980 the popular New Yard restaurant opened, along with the Stable Yard art gallery, now home to LizardArt – a cooperative of artists who live and work on the Lizard Peninsula. The business has since diversified even further with farmland and forestry operations as well as an off-site building company specialising in unique, sustainable buildings.
“Our estate supports a variety of separate but complementary businesses,” said Sir Ferrers, who is directly involved in all aspects of the estate. “My background is in conservation so sustainability and local sourcing underpin all our businesses.
We were one of the first to install a district heating system, an early adopter of biomass boiler technology, use natural building materials wherever possible and have a strong recycling drive. Being a green business is something we’ve won awards for and are passionate about.”
Today, the core business of the estate is the holiday homes, with a further 20 planned. The cottages are available for bookings and as timeshares, a word that can sometimes have negative associations.
Not so at Trelowarren through, where owners can enjoy 20 years of Cornish holidays at today’s prices, with the reassurance that each time they arrive the fridge will be stocked, grass cut and fire laid.
“Our unique location really is a draw for second home owners and holiday makers,” added Sir Ferrers. “We have a family estate with 1,000 years’ heritage, 1,000 acres of stunning Cornish countryside to explore and despite the feeling of remoteness, we’re actually easily accessible and just minutes from lots of other lovely attractions and beauty spots.
Add to this a relaxing spa offering a range of treatments, a pool, a restaurant serving excellent food and an art gallery, and it’s easy to see why people love returning here year after year.”
Trelowarren Estate began working with Simpkins Edwards following the economic downturn of the late 2000s when the team was looking for support in restructuring the business and Simpkins Edwards came recommended as experts in this area.
Now that restructuring process has been completed, Partner Jon Williams and his team continue to manage all accounts including the limited company, sole trader and personal accounts, as well as providing advice on long-term tax planning.
“As well as providing excellent accounting skills, Simpkins Edwards’ tax advice has been critical to the success of the business and we have easy access to the team whenever we need their advice or assistance. Jon’s knowledge of our businesses is profound and in-depth, which means his advice is always tailored to us and our unique complexities.”
So what does the future hold for this wonderful piece of Cornish history?
“We’re focusing on our position in the market by reinvesting in our properties to make sure our core values are met and the product is right,” concludes Sir Ferrers. “We pride ourselves on our combination of high quality properties and wonderful services along with stunning location. Now the restructuring has taken place and we’re on a sound footing we’re planning further expansion with additional properties. It’s important that we put plans in place to help Trelowarren thrive for generations to come and ensure people can continue to enjoy this wonderful corner of Cornwall.”
Are you after advice on restructuring your business or perhaps you’d like to ensure you’re maximising your tax planning. Call us on 01392 211233 to see how we can help.