THE TEAM behind the popular Polycrub has secured over £150,000 in funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to expand the business.
Northmavine Community Development Company (NCDC), which oversees the production of the hardy polytunnels through its Ollaberry based Nortenergy social enterprise, is set to embark on a £400,000 expansion of the Polycrub business as demand continues to rise.
An equivalent of 2.5 full-time jobs is due to be created over the next three years, with turnover expected to increase from £223,000 to £492,000.
Profits from the business will be reinvested in the local community through NCDC.
Nortenergy director Margaret Roberts said: “We are delighted that HIE has the confidence to invest in this project and that the organisation is continuing to support this community, which has built a relationship with HIE over the past few years.”
Polycrubs are made from recycled sale farm piping and kits have recently been sold to customers in the Falklands.
HIE chairman Professor Lorne Crerar said Nortenergy is a “great example” of social enterprises capitalising on the region’s geography.
“The innovation we have seen here is inspiring; using the ready supply of waste salmon farm waste salmon farm piping, which would otherwise end up in landfill, to enable local people to grow their own fresh fruit and vegetable,” he said.
“The fact that Polycrub is proving so popular in other parts of the country and further afield is a real opportunity for Nortenergy.
“As well as generating community income and creating new jobs here in Northmavine, the company is helping communities in other fragile areas who face similar geographic or climatic challenges. I am delighted to confirm HIE’s support for this initiative and congratulate Nortenergy on their ambition and achievement.”
The polycrub started life in 2008 as a project supported by the Climate Challenge Fund, and it has since become popular with locals looking to grow their own fruit and vegetables.
The investment in Nortenergy will increase the profit returned to NCDC and allow it to run for the first time without grant support.
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 430 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News