Northumberland farm celebrates £1m turnover in record 2017
Whitehouse Farm Centre, near Morpeth, is celebrating another record-breaking year after generating a turnover in excess of £1m in 2017.
The family business, which also celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, has reported a five per cent increase in turnover and a 4.5 per cent increase in visitor numbers compared to its performance in 2016.
The boost in visitors and turnover will enable the family owners and directors, to invest a further £100k in new attractions, activities, facilities and recruitment this year.
Karen Lovatt, operations director at Whitehouse Farm Centre, commented: “We are absolutely thrilled with our performance in 2017. During the last two years, we’ve made several investments totalling £80k, which have had a significant impact on the business.
“When we launched twenty years ago the Farm welcomed around 20,000 visitors and now we’re seeing in the region of 100,000 visitors a year. This valuable growth and the income it generates will help us to continue developing our visitor offering and events programme with many more exciting activities and attractions to encourage people to return time and again.”
Recent development work carried out at Whitehouse Farm Centre includes new enclosures in the animal barn and reptile house, new animal species, a café refurbishment, and the creation of a dedicated ice cream parlour with new equipment for the outdoor play area.
Lovatt added: “These additions are just the tip of the iceberg with work due to start on an exciting new project to extend more facilities within the farm and our 21st anniversary celebrations.
“All the team at Whitehouse work extremely hard to keep developing our visitor offering to ensure we remain one of the best visitor attractions in the county.
“We have lots planned for 2018, including a fully digital booking system to make it easier for visitors to plan their day with us in advance.”
Founder of the business, Keith Slater, now 81, launched a small farm park in 1997 with a selection of animals, a tea shop and a couple of play areas.
His aim was to educate visitors on farming life in a fun and engaging way after researching what visitors to the county enjoy and what was missing for the local community.
It now employs over 50 staff, and welcomes pupils from many regional schools and community groups on educational farm visits.