Wykeham: Yorkshire estate dating back to 12th century and owned by Viscount now a thriving business park

It may have a population of only 300 but the village of Wykeham near Scarborough, has one of the most thriving business communities in North Yorkshire thanks to the pioneering aspirations of the Dawnay Estate.

The estate, which belongs to Richard Henry Dawnay 12th Viscount Downe, has become a leader in its field of rural business transformation transforming redundant farm buildings and quarries into a haven for the countryside economy.

Traditional stone-built cart sheds, cattle sheds and stables were taken down and rebuilt as sustainably and sympathetically as possible, said retired estates director, Robert Sword.

“To attract to-notch clients meant creating a high quality environment so we offered spacious and contemporary interiors, satellite broadband and landscaping.”

What the site looked like before redevelopment.What the site looked like before redevelopment.
What the site looked like before redevelopment.

The redevelopment, which has resulted in the creation of scores of jobs was inspired by Broughton Hall Business park near Skipton, said Mr Sword.

“We ascertained a report on market demand and as a result the trustees of the Wykeham estate made the brave decision to re-purpose Lora Farm and Wykeham Farm.”

The prestigious developments which created Wykeham Business Park, and Fairfield Business Park, the estate’s former sawmill, earned Royal recognition with visits from The Duke of Kent, Princess Anne and the Duke of York.

Lord Downe said: “Tenants have include solicitors, accountants and graphic designers as well as a hearing clinic, residential care providers, and a music academy.

The Dawnay Estate buildings are now home to businesses.The Dawnay Estate buildings are now home to businesses.
The Dawnay Estate buildings are now home to businesses.

“I feel that the business centres have helped revitalise the village and importantly local businesses such as the pub.

“Today, Wykeham’s primary school and local children’s nursery are thriving, and providing passengers for the local bus route and attracts tenants for the estate’s residential lettings.”

The estate’s letting manager, Katrina Shamel, added: “We pride ourselves on our flexibility and being ready to adapt the office spaces to take account of changes to our tenants’ businesses and staff numbers. We’ve created shared spaces, altered staircases and added internal divisions.”

The success of the business park mirrors the estate’s pioneering ventures of St Helen’s in the Park, a one time sand and gravel quarry which has become one of Yorkshire’s top caravan parks and North Yorkshire lakes, developed out of redundant quarries and become a regional top tourist attraction. Meanwhile part of the landmark gardens of Wykeham Abbey, the Downe family home, has become the headquarters of Wykeham Mature Trees, which are grown in the grounds and sold to all parts of the North.