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Development of the Polycrub

Polycrubs are suitable for growing food in the harshest of climates and the structures reuse redundant salmon cage piping. Image: nortenergy Ltd

Grants from the Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) enabled Northmavine Community Development Company, Shetland to design and install of a network of weatherproof Polytunnels, meeting community demand to grow local produce. Rebranded as Polycrubs these structures have since been sold across Scotland and internationally.

What consultation took place before applying for a CCF Grant?

  • A survey of the local community indicated interest in local food growing, a perception that land was unavailable locally and that conventional Polytunnels had limited success

What did the CCF grants fund?

  • Powerdown project covering local food and energy to help residents reduce carbon emissions and save money.
  • Powerdown Officer identified the most suitable Polytunnel type structure for the Shetland climate.
  • 12 community polytunnels, later renamed Polycrubs built in Northmavine.
  • The design included reuse of materials such as redundant salmon cage piping.

Why did carbon emissions decrease?

  • More food being grown locally for local consumption.
  • The reuse of materials in the design of the structures meant that redundant salmon cage piping was diverted from landfill.

What were the community benefits?

  • Access to local space to grow produce and a new network in Northmavine, with an exchange of knowledge, seeds etc between and within polycrubs.
  • Intergenerational learning as age range of growers extended from two years to over 80.

What was the sustainable legacy?

  • Polycrubs offered for sale by NCDCs trading subsidiary, nortenergy Ltd who won the Shetland Environmental Award for green credentials displayed.
  • Use of polycrubs has expanded over Shetland, from school grounds to private gardens, meaning increased production and consumption of local produce on Shetland.
  • Polycrubs exported to other areas of Scotland and internationally. Highlands and Islands Enterprise investment in 2018 to further grow the Polycrub business.

Find out more on the Polycrub website here.

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