The Northmavine Community Development Company had been approached to find an alternative use for redundant equipment from the aquaculture industry which, at that time, was either being sent to landfill, or littering shorelines. They incorporated these waste materials into the design of what is now known as a Polycrub and gave the structure a super-strength, polycarbonate cover.
Grant aid from the Climate Challenge Fund covered the cost of a pilot project to build12 growing spaces in the Northmavine community. Each Polycrub was split into shared plots and almost 50 people in were able to grow their own produce undercover.
When the community growing project was complete, it attracted great interest from other community groups and individuals who wanted to buy the design. Today the Polycrub® brand is a registered trademark and subject to copyright law, structurally accredited and available in kit form as far away as France and the Falklands.
The Polycrub company trades as Nortenergy Ltd, a successful social enterprise, the trading arm of NCDC, a charity that works alongside local people to regenerate and develop Northmavine. All their profits are reinvested in Northmavine, supporting community-based projects.
Polycrubs are now popular with individual growers who need a robust growing space. Many schools and community groups have been able to access grant funding for Polycrub growing projects. Crofters and farmers with plans for crofting diversification could also be eligible for funding support through the agricultural grants system.
The range includes Peerie Polly, a 3m wide structure; the Polycrub Classic, a 4m wide version and the Polycrub Opyl, a 4m wide structure, suitable for storage or small livestock and poultry. Each kit in the range comes in a variety of lengths.