Agriculture contractor expands peatland protection and restoration capability
An Exmoor-based environmental and ecological projects contractor has acquired new larger premises and significantly increased its capacity, after securing a £400,000 financial package from the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (AMC), a part of Lloyds Banking Group.
GRT Countryside Care Ltd (GRT), which provides specialist services and support for countryside and environmental projects right across the South West region, has invested in a new 10-acre site at Luxborough, near Minehead after receiving the six-figure support from the AMC.
The expansion gives the business nearly a ten-fold uplift in space and will enable it to more effectively store, modify and build bespoke machinery that is used in specialist sustainability projects, including the vital protection and restoration of peatlands across Exmoor, Dartmoor and Bodmin.
The business, which is commissioned by South West Water and the South West Peatland Partnership to develop large-scale modified machinery for use on the restoration projects, works extensively across the region’s national parks, helping to restore large swaths of damaged peatland found in blanket bogs and valley mires.
Peatlands are highly significant to global efforts to combat climate change, as well as wider sustainable development goals. The protection and restoration of peatlands is vital in the transition towards a low-carbon and circular economy.
Geoff Tucker, director at GRT Countryside Care said: “The funding support we’ve received from AMC has been transformative for our business. Its enabled us to expand and take on much needed workshop and storage space that will enable us to more effectively work on large-scale machinery, which in turn, plays a crucial role in helping to restore peatlands as part of the UK’s green recovery.
“The funding application process was streamlined, transparent and the AMC team couldn’t have been more helpful throughout.”
GRT Countryside Care also specialises in the design, construction, repairs and modifications of agricultural buildings and machinery and works with customers from the initial design stage right through to completion of a build. The business, which is run by Geoff Tucker together with his wife Karin, employs up to eight people at peak times.
The deal with AMC was completed with support from local AMC agent, Peter Skinner in Exeter.
Lee Baker, national sales director, AMC added: “GRT plays a fundamental role in the restoration of peatlands in the South West. The machinery they adapt and build supports sustainability and the hydrological function of the peatlands by improving the quality and quantity of water leaving the moors. It also helps to ease water flow which can help to reduce the risk of flooding downstream, as well as helping to restore important local ecosystems for wildlife to flourish – so its contribution to the green agenda is significant.
“We are proud to support the growth ambitions of firms like GRT. We are working with agricultural and land-based businesses right across the country, providing long-term lending to help implement more sustainable business models and operations and to pursue clean growth opportunities.”