Woodside Arran Client Credit

Arran enterprise embarks on further expansion

Published: 18/03/2022

A social enterprise on the island of Arran is preparing to significantly step up its production of locally grown produce, boost business turnover, and create more jobs.

Morag Goodfellow, HIE area manager for Argyll and the Islands

Woodside Arran has secured £49,500 investment from HIE to erect a steel framed shed on its farm in Kildonan.

This will house a new processing area, storage room, kitchen and education facility, and enable the business to keep up with demand for local produce.

The processing area will enable Woodside to increase its production of fruit and vegetables by up to 50%, while also extending product shelf-life. The storage area will allow produce to be stored in a temperature-controlled environment, which will reduce waste and ensure plentiful supplies during the winter months.

Products such as chutneys, quiches and pesto will be produced in the kitchen, and sold via the farm’s vending machine in Brodick. And various educational opportunities will be created using the onsite classroom. These include a nine-month mentorship programme, volunteer days and school visits.

The £90,000 project is expected to create two new jobs in the next five years and increase Woodside Arran’s turnover by more than £220,000. It will also continue contributing to the net zero agenda through the elimination of food miles generated in the supply of fresh produce to the island.

Woodside Arran 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.

In 2021, HIE approved a £30,000 investment to help the business expand its activities using a fresh produce vending machine. This latest project will allow them to improve the efficiency of their on-farm operation and make a significant difference to the next stage of Woodside’s growth.

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

“Woodside Arran has played a pivotal role in providing fresh produce for the Arran community throughout the pandemic. We are delighted to see demand for this increase to the point that they need to expand capacity and diversify their offering.

“There are many benefits to this project. It will expand the range of local produce available; it will create more jobs on Arran, and it will contribute to the wider net zero agenda.

“We are very pleased to be able to provide this support and look forward to continuing to work with the company.”

Jenny Macdonald of Woodside Arran said:

“The new harvesting shed part funded by HIE is going to have a significant impact on Woodside Arran’s productivity and social impact.  Over these last few difficult years, the need for resilient, all-season local food production has become clearer than ever and with HIE’s support we at Woodside are going to be able to provide this for our community, while creating jobs and offering additional outreach and education opportunities due to having this infrastructure in place.  

“The new shed will allow us to produce higher quantities of produce, reduce waste and ensure our community has access to quality, affordable, healthy produce year-round.”

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