Helping Redhouse Blossom
We’ve been very busy behind the scenes here at Redhouse since February 2017 planning for the further growth of Redhouse Nurseries. We now have the brilliant news to tell that we have been accepted for a LEADER funded development grant.
LEADER is a bottom-up method of delivering support to communities for rural development. Grants are awarded by Local Action Groups to projects that support delivery of a Local Development Strategy.
The aim of LEADER is to increase support to local rural community and business networks to build knowledge and skills, and encourage innovation and cooperation in order to tackle local development objectives.
Local Development Strategies include actions that will allow individuals, communities and businesses to:
- drive community action on climate change
- enhance rural services and facilities, including transport initiatives
- enhance natural/cultural heritage, tourism and leisure
- support food and drink initiatives (for example short supply chains, community food)
- build co-operation with other LAGs in Scotland, UK and Europe
- exchange learning and knowledge with each other, realise their potential, build opportunities for all
LEADER is part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) 2014-20.
Our project is made up of three main objectives:
- An upgrade to our current electricity supply.
The Tea Room is currently unable to increase its capacity or menu due to electrical restrictions, we would very much like to expand into hot meals (toasties, baked potatoes etc.) but are unable to install further equipment such as commercial fridges, dishwashers and cookers.
Scottish Power Energy Networks are the contractor for any electrical mains upgrade and installations in this area. As a key element of the project, they will be contracted to upgrade our electrical supply. This will allow us to improve current equipment being used in The Potting Shed tea room to much higher specification appliances. An increase in power will also allow the nursery to use heaters in glasshouses during cold weather permitting an increased range of plants to be grown on site and introduce equipment that will improve efficiency including a tray filling machine, this will fill pots and trays with compost automatically rather than a member of staff filling each one by hand.
- New access road
The second proposal would be to re-open a former access road, creating an entrance and exit onto the B1377 for our customers and suppliers, also redirecting all our traffic away from the front of the residential properties. Vehicular access has been flagged as an issue for many visitors because of the narrow entrance past residential properties, single track road and difficult view on exit on the main road around a corner, this has proved quite off-putting for some less confident drivers.
Our current access road is not sufficient for the volume of traffic we now experience as we begin to expand, it has become a health and safety risk during busy periods when traffic is trying to enter and exit through the single file access, causing stationary traffic to build up on the main road. A new larger access would safeguard the suppliers and service providers’ ability to deliver to Redhouse with larger artic lorries now being used by most hauliers. We have already had issues with some suppliers being unable to service our needs due to access restrictions.
- Slabbed path from car park to tea room
By laying a new slabbed path through the nursery, the access will be improved for all visitors and signage throughout the whole site will be updated.
The planning consent for the new access has now been granted, as well as signing a new 10-year lease at Redhouse, so we are able to begin the project. This is a very exciting time for us and we look forward to sharing our progress through-out the project works in the coming months.