// Home Bargains CEO Tom Morris buys 4960 acres at Halsall, West Lancashire from Church of England
// The deal is worth £50m and aims to “grow and promote British produce”
A company set up by the billionaire founder of Home Bargains has bought nearly 5000 acres of Church of England land to help farmers “grow and promote British produce”.
Home Bargains chief executive Tom Morris is the director of The Halsall Estate Ltd, which was incorporated in January and has bought 4960 acres at Halsall, West Lancashire, in a deal which could be worth up to £50 million.
The land was sold by the Church Commissioners, which administers the property assets of the Church of England and manages around 95,000 acres of land and an £8.7 billion investment fund.
It is not clear how many farmers currently operate on the Halsall Estate, but all agricultural producers and others renting on it “have been assured that the terms of their existing tenancies will be honoured”, a spokesman said.
Morris is one of seven siblings born to a Liverpool shopkeeper and founded Home Bargains in the city in 1976. His brother, Joseph, is its operations director.
The cut-price high street chain, which employs more than 25,000 people across 525 stores in the UK, sells everything from designer perfumes to dress-up costumes and dog kennels, paddling pools and power tools to its four million customers per week.
The Morris family has a £4.1 billion fortune, according to The Sunday Times Rich List – more than the combined wealth of retail tycoons Mike Ashley and Sir Philip Green.
A spokesman for The Halsall Estate Limited said: “Following the purchase of Halsall Estate, all tenants have been assured that the terms of their existing tenancies will be honoured and there has been no change to any tenancy agreements on our behalf, before or after the purchase.
“Our aim is to work with local farmers to grow and promote British produce.”
The Halsall Estate Limited is registered at the Liverpool office of TJ Morris, the Home Bargains parent company.
with PA Wires