Christine Tacon, former MD of The Co-operative Farms, has been appointed chairman of a new company set up to invest in UK arable farmland.

UK Farming – set up by Brooks Macdonald Funds – is an unquoted public company seeking to raise £20m to invest in existing arable farms. Land will be farmed by existing contractors who will farm cereal crops for use in food production and potentially for biofuels.

UK Farming expected to attract new investors to farming through its establishment, said Tacon.

“Farming is an industry attracting increasing interest and, though subject to many external market forces, one that with sound commercial management can prove a sustainable long term investment,” she said.

The average value of farmland will increase by 36% over the next five years, according to predictions in Savills’ latest Agricultural Land Markets Survey.

Meanwhile, Andrew Christie-Miller – former deputy chairman of Openfield Group grain marketing – has been appointed a non-executive director of UK Farming.