Scottish Land Matching Service Gathering Momentum

Further meetings planned for January

The Scottish Land Matching Service (SLMS), supported by NFU Scotland, is gathering momentum.

Managed by Ian Davidson, former Head of Agriculture Policy at Scottish Government, the SLMS builds on the Joint Venture Hub established by NFUS in November 2018 and aims to match new entrants and developing businesses with well-established farmers and crofters who may be looking to step back. The Union’s Joint Venture Hub had more than 70 expressions of interest.

Since the SLMS was announced in late September, Ian has attended 11 meetings around the country with the likes of NFU Scotland, Scottish Tenant Farmers Association, Scottish Crofting Federation and Crofting Commission.  A further three meetings are already in the diary for January.  

A growing number of individuals involved in farming and crofting have made direct contact with SLMS and several one-to-one meetings have taken place.

Ian Davidson said: “Progress of the SLMS has been very pleasing; there is a will in the industry to move forward and there are some excellent opportunities available.

“The service is a great way to match up those with similar interests and aims for land use.  It is a genuine opportunity to get people talking.  As with any match, it’s up to the individuals to decide for themselves if it will work or not.  

“With the future success of businesses at stake, it’s really important to get the match right and I am pleased that the service is helping with that process.

“One of the key objectives for the public meetings we have held has been not only to raise awareness but to get people thinking about the future.  From these meetings, individuals have contacted me directly seeking further information and expressing interest in the opportunities that joint ventures could deliver for their circumstances.

“To date, there have also been one-to-one meetings with 11 individuals both seeking and providing opportunities.  That is a really positive indication that there is wide support for the service.  Those who have previously noted interest in the Joint Venture Hub have also been asked if they would like a one-to-one meeting to discuss their case.”

When asked what the immediate next steps for the SLMS will be, Ian said: “I will continue to proactively meet with individuals and organisations who are interested in either providing or seeking opportunities. The key is building trust and strong working relationships and I would urge anyone thinking about the future to contact me for a confidential one to one chat.

“Ultimately, a lot depends on the relationship between the individuals concerned. That said, we know that there are many arrangements being agreed off the radar. It would be a huge help to me if individuals would be willing to contact me so that I can learn from their experiences.”

Notes to Editors

  • Anyone interested in finding a farm/croft match can contact Ian either on mobile 07741 902648 or email
  • The Scottish Land Matching Service is a consortium approach with support from the following organisations: Scottish Government; NFU Scotland; Scottish Land and Estates; Scottish Land Commission; Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs; Scottish Tenant Farmers Association; Royal Scottish Agriculture Benevolent Institution; Farm Advisory Service (SAC / Ricardo); Forestry and Land Scotland.


Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Author: Bob Carruth

Date Published:

News Article No.: 179/19

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