STOKE-ON-TRENT, England, August 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Farmers are increasingly looking to build storage units on their land as an alternative source of income, according to lift manufacturers DeSeM Lifts (http://www.desem.co.uk).
The Staffordshire-based company specialises in supplying new storage facilities with goods-only and goods-and-passenger lifts, and is increasingly fielding enquiries from companies which have purchased agricultural land for new storage sites.
In the past 12 months, they have installed lifts at three agricultural sites and in the past three months alone have received four of these types of enquiries - up 75% on the same period last year.
One of those projects was the Storage Planet development at a former chicken farm in Headcorn, Kent.
One of the partners at Storage Planet, Elizabeth Edwards, said: "My father used to run a chicken farm here, but was looking to retire and thought self-storage would be a good business to go into.
"He sold the farming business and converted one of the old chicken sheds into Storage Planet. We opened in March and now have 14000sq ft of lettable space.
"In all there are nine units on the site of the old farm, which has been converted into a new business park."
DeSeM Lifts Director Mike Carp said: "We designed, manufactured and installed a 1.5 tonne goods-only lift at Storage Planet, which was the fourth project we have delivered on formerly agricultural land.
"We have another two or three of these jobs lined up for the next 12 months, and more enquiries coming in all the time, so clearly storage facilities are now becoming a viable option for farmers."
Rodney Walker CBE is CEO of the Self Storage Association. The trend for converting farmland for self-storage has been growing pace throughout the eight years he has been running the organisation.
He said: "Following on from the barn-conversation-to-residential phase, I have noted that there has been a trend over the past decade, throughout the UK, of more farmers successfully converting their surplus farm sheds into self storage.
"In a number of cases their facility is well away from major conurbations but they still manage to fill them."
SOURCE DeSeM Lifts