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Estate Director

Southill Estate
Biggleswade, Bedfordshire
Attractive Salary + Benefits
Closing date
8 Feb 2022

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Family Estate Office

Attractive Salary + Benefits

Biggleswade, Bedfordshire


The Southill Estate, Bedfordshire, has been in the ownership of the Whitbread family since 1795.  Since 2004 it has been overseen by Mr Charles Whitbread and his family, who live on the Estate and view it very much as their home.

The Estate covers approximately 11,500 acres, of which 3,500 acres is farmed in-hand and with approximately 5,500 acres being tenanted. In addition, there are 1,000 acres of woodland and a further 1,500 acres constituting parkland, playing fields and property comprising 260 cottages and 160 commercial units, the income of which represents a significant proportion of the Estate's total turnover. The Estate's location within the Varsity Link corridor will provide further opportunities for value creation and strategic land opportunities remain a key focus.

The family continues to invest in and modernise the Estate.  At the heart of their strategy lies the core objective of continuing the positive stewardship of the Estate, which will be achieved by ensuring its ability to deliver economic, social and environmental value over the course of future generations.


The family is seeking a highly motivated and commercially minded Estate Director with property management expertise and a good understanding of the process of development.  He/she will have a good understanding of estate management practices, a proven track record in managing a team and delivering commercial results within a diverse rural business, and an ambassadorial mind-set, capable of managing a diverse range of internal and external stakeholders and lead the further development of the Southill portfolio.

The suitable individual will be:

  • Ideally RICS Qualified with a number of years of experience and a track record of demonstrable achievement in commercial and rural property management including development and strategic land.
  • An excellent communicator with a people focussed and developed sense of empathy accompanied by natural diplomacy and common sense.
  • Strong commercial awareness and proven ability to successfully lead teams in the delivery of enterprise objectives especially rural and commercial property, rural operations and ideally forestry.
  • Interest in the countryside, outdoor pursuits, community affairs, able to demonstrate developed relationships.
  • Passion for sustainability and biodiversity, proven through qualifications and results.
  • Able to demonstrate an attention to detail plus understanding of compliance requirements.
  • Not looking for a ‘9-5’ role, happy and able to demonstrate a commitment that goes beyond this.
  • Entrepreneurial ability to anticipate emerging trends combined with proven financial, commercial, and strategic acumen.
  • A high degree of autonomy and self-motivation.
  • Strong leadership qualities, as well as possessing the self-awareness and humility to negotiate successful outcomes for key stakeholders. A keen focus on implementation and a desire to deliver results.
  • Energetic, tenacious, and hands-on with strong attention to detail. Committed team player with excellent communication skills, natural diplomacy and common sense. Experience of generating online awareness and a social media presence.

An excellent package will be offered in keeping with an outstanding, entrepreneurial, and innovative individual, including quality housing on the Estate, company car and pension contribution.


The Estate Director reports to Charles Whitbread and manages a staff of 24, comprising of 17 full time and 7 part time employees. 

The key objectives will be:

  • To protect and enhance the Family’s enjoyment of the Estate.
  • To ensure the Estate’s natural and built assets are managed and developed to safeguard a sustainable future.
  • To develop and nurture new income streams, thereby underpinning the family’s desire to own a profitable, best in class Estate that delivers economic, social, and environmental value.
  • To manage and enhance a diverse range of relationships including the family, staff, trustees, legal and financial advisers, planners and local government
  • Balancing all strategic land opportunities, either residential or commercial, and lead projects with additional consultancy advice as and when required.
  • Balancing the management of existing assets with development of future assets.

This is an exceptional opportunity to shape an Estate and influence the evolution of a portfolio as a whole, with the common objective of ensuring it is a location of choice within the ‘Oxford Cambridge Arc’.  Considerable asset enhancement opportunities exist, and these are accompanied by the willingness and financial backing to make them a reality.


Please email your CV with full salary details to or further information please contact Charlie Holroyde on 07973 116262.

Mulberry Executive Search have been retained to handle this assignment.

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