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Arran social enterprise puts fresh produce on the menu

Published: 07/05/2021

People on Arran are set to have more access to fresh local produce in a project that will also help to create two new jobs on the island.

Woodside Arran CIC secured up to £30,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to help expand their activities by creating a fresh produce vending machine in Brodick.

The social enterprise was formed in May 2017 by husband and wife team Andrew and Jennifer Macdonald. Their initial aims were to address the lack of local fresh produce available on the island and create a diverse local food network for residents and visitors.

This project will generate a turnover of almost £56,000 by 2022/23, which will allow Woodside to further develop their farm and to provide two new full-time posts by 2022.

HIE’s financial assistance will help Woodside’s recovery from the impact of the pandemic, when all their efforts and resources were concentrated on providing emergency food for local people between April and September. This effort was also supported by HIE through an award of £31,000 from the Supporting Communities Fund.

Morag Goodfellow, HIE area manager for Argyll and the Islands, said:

“Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Woodside Arran has played a pivotal role in providing food for members of the Arran community. These latest plans, to provide fresh produce from a vending machine in Brodick, will take Woodside to the next stage in its growth. The move will create jobs and make a positive contribution to the people living on Arran. We are pleased to be able to provide this support and look forward to continuing to work with the company.”

Jenny Macdonald of Woodside Arran said:

"Woodside Arran is delighted to receive funding from HIE towards creating the new fresh produce vending machine for Arran.  Since we started the organisation we have tried many ways to make local food as convenient as possible and feel that the new vending machine will allow residents and tourists the chance to add local fruit and vegetables to their diet in a much more convenient and easy way.  Allowing us to focus on the import job of growing as much local produce as possible.”

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