Property surveyor ‘extremely excited’ after being chosen for top farming role

Cath Crowther, who is the new CLA East regional director Picture: BIDWELLS

Cath Crowther, who is the new CLA East regional director Picture: BIDWELLS - Credit: Archant

A chartered surveyor who grew up on a Welsh sheep farm is set to become the new boss at the eastern regional offices of a landowners’ lobby group.

Cath Crowther said she was "extremely excited" after being appointed as East regional director at the Country Land and Business Association (CLA).

She takes up her post, which is based at Newmarket, in early November, and takes over the role from Ben Underwood, who is moving to head office to become programme director.

MORE - What will happen to UK farm subsidies as farmers find themselves caught in Brexit crisis 'trap'?The eastern region covers Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Suffolk.

Ms Crowther is currently a partner at property consultancy firm Bidwells and is a qualified chartered surveyor and a fellow of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers.

She grew up on an arable and sheep farm in South Wales and moved to Cambridgeshire in 2009 to join Bidwells.

Her main focus over the last few years has been on rural development, diversification projects and renewable energy, identifying and implementing alternative uses to generate new income streams and capital value.

During her career she has been involved in the full range of commercial, residential, retail, tourism and leisure, hospitality and other property uses in rural locations. Projects have ranged from barn conversions to residential developments on the edge of villages to wedding venues and farm shops.

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"I am extremely excited about joining the CLA, an organisation that is playing such a pivotal role in the agricultural sector and wider rural industries," she said.

"We are living in politically uncertain times and it has never been more important for the CLA to be speaking up and lobbying locally and nationally on the issues that really matter to rural businesses.

"I look forward to joining the CLA in November and meeting with members to learn more about their businesses and engaging with the wide spectrum of CLA stakeholders."

CLA director general Sarah Hendry said: "We are absolutely delighted Cath is joining us in November. Her extensive knowledge and experience of our sector and personal experience of the farming community will be an asset to the CLA.

"CLA members own and manage some of the most influential, innovative and forward-thinking rural businesses and it is fantastic that we will have Cath at the helm in the eastern region to help support their ventures."