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13.8 acres, Bibury Trout Farm & Leisure Centre, Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Under Offer - £2,000,000

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  • Bibury Trout Farm & Visitor Centre
  • Successful Business in the Coln Valley
  • Popular Cotswold tourist attraction
  • Thriving Visitor Centre
  • Grade II Listed 4 Bedroom Shoecroft Barn
  • 40 Earth ponds, hatchery and fryary operation
  • Site extending to 13.8acres, (5.5ha)

The Property:

Bibury Trout Farm is one of Britain’s oldest, and certainly most attractive, trout farms. Founded in 1902 by the famous naturalist Arthur Severn, it was created to stock the local rivers and streams with native Brown Trout. The site covers one of the most beautiful valleys in the Cotswolds, the Coln Valley. The current owners took over the fish farm in 2001 and have developed the business into one of the country’s leading fish farms together with a very successful visitor centre.


The property is located in the village of Bibury in the heart of the Cotswolds, 6.5 miles from Cirencester and 10 miles from Burford. It is within easy reach of Cheltenham (22 miles) and the motorway network, M5 Junction 11A (20 miles). Mainline train service at Kemble (12 miles) to London Paddington (80 minutes).

Bibury Village:

Bibury Trout Farm stands in the centre of the village, which is at the heart of the Cotswold tourist trail. The village of Bibury itself was famously referred to as the ‘most beautiful village in England’ by William Morris. On the banks of the river Coln, Bibury itself is rich in both history and nature. The cottages known as Arlington Row are believed to have been built around 1380 as a monastic wool store and later converted into weavers' cottages in the 17th century.
The site extends in total to approximately 13.8 acres (5.5 ha) as shown on the site plan.

Shoecroft Barn:

The south-facing Shoecroft Barn is positioned overlooking the fish farm. A Grade II Listed barn conversion providing living accommodation on two upper floors with storage on the lower floor.
A traditional barn converted on the first and second floors together with four bedrooms and two bathrooms. Planning permission has been granted to convert the ground floor workshops and incorporate them into the main house.


A range of traditional buildings currently housing the fish smoker and the remainder used for storage.

Visitor Centre:

The retail shop and café are located on the south west corner of the site alongside the main road running through the village and are reached via a timber bridge over the Millrace. The building is mainly built of Cotswold stone under a Cotswold stone tiled roof with a timber extension to the rear with a veranda overlooking the water.
The layout includes a fresh fish counter, retail area and cold store with an office and storage on the first floor. The café is located in a small timber cabin under a felted roof with servery overlooking a terrace with tables under marquees.

The Visitor Centre includes wide gravel pathways for guided tours with picnic areas and a children’s play area. A “catch your own fishery” includes a timber fishing hut under a shingle roof and seating area with an adjacent car park.

Cotswold Tourism:

Cotswolds Tourism, as the official Destination Management Organisation for the area, conducts an annual Economic Impact Study into tourism in the area. The report highlights the number of unique visitors in 2017 were 1.1m (up 42% on 2016). Bibury trout farm itself received 53,390 visitors in 2017, with many more visiting the shop and café.

Rack Isle:

A detached two storey natural stone building under a tiled roof situated opposite the Visitors Centre. Currently used as a storage area on the ground floor and an office on the first floor accessed via a spiral staircase.

Planning permission for residential conversion was passed many years ago, but has subsequently lapsed.

Trout Farm:

The farm is well positioned on an island between the River Coln and the Millrace which forms the southern boundary of the property. Bibury Trout Farm is managed as a hatchery and the farm currently produces about 80 tonnes per year of high quality brown and rainbow trout bred and reared for restocking fisheries, rivers and reservoirs as well as supplying the Visitor Centre shop and beginners fishery.

The River Coln and Millrace serve five main waters at the heart of the site, fully aerated, alongside a series of rearing ponds connected by feeder channels with sluice gates and an overflow to the Millrace.
The rearing ponds to the west of the site are reached via a bridge over the river with separate track access from an adjacent lane. The ponds are maintained at up to 20ft depths with the settlement pond alongside.

The farm is bordered by open fields and woodland through which the river flows. There is a total water area of 4.3 acres (1.7 ha) with 44 individually fed ponds from the river/mill stream.

The Hatchery:

Fed by the Bibury Spring, the farm rears its own fry with a capacity of up to 6 million eggs per year as well as sales of ova and fry within the industry. The hatchery has Global Gap, Freedom Foods and RSPCA accreditation.

The hatchery is located on the east boundary, a Cotswold stone building under a pitch stoned tiled roof with a stone extension under a felted flat roof. The hatchery has the benefit of hatching trays, zouga jars, external raceways/hatching boxes, 10 covered concrete rearing tanks, spring water system, pump room, storage area and staff welfare room.
The farm is fed by the River Coln via the Millrace. EA abstraction licences for 2.2 million gallons per day plus an additional 1 million gallons per day between May and November.

The Business:

The accounts for the year ending 28th February 2018 show a turnover of £1,311,000.

The Trout Farm turnover was £466,000.

The Visitor Centre (café, retail sales, entrance fees, fishery) currently turns over approximately £845,195

Profit and loss accounts will be made available to serious potential buyers after viewing.

The Visitor Centre employs a full time operations manager, 6 full time persons and 6 part time persons. The Trout Farm employs 7 full time persons and 2 part time persons.

The purchaser will be required to comply with the relevant legislation in respect of present employed staff. A staff list can be made available to seriously interested parties.

Development Potential:

It has been identified that there is potential to restructure the business in the future with the potential to scale down the fish farm production and simplify the business model. The centre of the fish farm opposite Shoecroft Barn, subject to planning and the appropriate consents from the Environment Agency, could be re-landscaped to create a conservation or fishing lake.

The western end of the fish farm has the potential to be re-landscaped and developed for glamping or continued in its current format.
The hatchery building, subject to planning, could be converted into a café/restaurant. Rack Isle may have development potential as a holiday accommodation. A pre-application has been submitted to Cotswold District Council to assess the various possibilities for the property.

Fixtures, Fittings & Equipment:

A detailed list can be made available to seriously interested parties.

Shop Stock:

All stock forming part of the Visitor Centre is available by separate negotiation. The shop/café stocks an average of £25,000 of stock during the year.

Fish Stocks:

The fish stocks vary during the year due to the production cycle. The purchase of the fish stock will be by separate negotiation, at cost price.

Planning Permission:

Bibury Trout Farm and Visitor Centre has operated at its current use for many years. Planning permission was granted for the erection of a single storey extension to form toilets dated 18th March 2016. Permission is currently being sought to extend the car park to provide an additional 27 spaces including 5 disabled spaces.


Mains water is connected to Shoecroft Barn, Visitor Centre and the hatchery. 3-phase electricity throughout the site plus two back up generators in case of mains failure. Septic tank drainage for Shoecroft Barn, mains drainage to the Visitor Centre.

Council Tax:

Shoecroft Barn – Council Tax Band G
Council Tax payable 2018/19 £2,700
Business Rates
Shop and Premises rateable value - £3,600
Rates payable 2018/19 £0 The business currently qualifies for 100% small business rate relief.

Agents’ Notes:

Tenure & Possession
The property is offered for sale freehold as a whole or in two lots with vacant possession on completion.

Rights of Way & Easements:

The property is sold subject to and with the benefit of all existing Rights of Way, whether public or private, light, support, drainage, water and electricity supplied in other rights obligations, easements, quasi-easements and restrictive covenants or all existing proposed wayleaves for masts, staves, cables, drains, water and gas and other pipes, whether referred to in these particulars or not.

Consumer Protection Regulations:

Under the regulations, what we say or publish about a property must not be false or misleading and we must provide certain material information to enable a potential viewer or purchaser to take an informed transactional decision.


Any areas, measurements or distances referred to as approximate are given as a guide and are not precise. If such details are fundamental to a purchase, purchasers must rely on their own enquiries.

Important Notice:

Fenn Wright for themselves and the Vendor of this property whose Agents they are, give notice that:

The particulars are intended to give a fair and substantially correct overall description for the guidance of intending purchasers and do not constitute part of an offer or contract.

Prospective purchaser/s and lessees should seek their own professional advice. All descriptions, dimensions, areas, reference to condition and if necessary permissions for use and occupation and their details are given in good faith and believed to be correct.

Any intending purchaser/s should not rely on them as statements or representations of fact but must satisfy themselves by inspection or otherwise as to the correctness of each of them.

No person in the employment of Fenn Wright has any authority to make or give any representation or warranty, whether in relation to this property or these particulars, nor to enter into any contract relating to the property on behalf of the Vendors.

No responsibility can be accepted for any expenses incurred by any intending purchaser/s in inspecting properties that have been sold, let or withdrawn.
Local Authority
Cotswold District Council
Trinity Road
T: 01285 623000

Photographs taken: 2018
Particulars prepared: November 2018

Stock available in addition.

Strictly by Appointment Through:
Fenn Wright
1 Tollgate East

Tel: 01206 216555
Email: /


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