With the biomass boom on the slide, forestry and landscaping social enterprise Treestation is developing further inroads in arboriculture - winning a £100,000 contract in the process.
Set up in 2008, Greater Manchester TreeStation was one of the first ‘tree stations’ to be established in the UK, and the very first in the North West. Born from the realisation that wood from treework was often being wasted, it acts as a hub for a broad range of wood-related activities, including timber products and woodchip, woodland management, consultancy and landscaping.
Sustainability is central to TreeStation's ethos - in May 2017 it won the Corporate Social Responsibility Excellence Award at the Greater Manchester Business Awards.
After several years of ‘biomass boom’ thanks to the government’s subsidy scheme for biomass heating, recent subsidy cuts mean the landscape for suppliers is now changing.
TreeStation sought support from low carbon sector specialists at Greater Manchester’s Business Growth Hub to conduct a business review and explore the best areas for growth.
Together they concluded that TreeStation’s primary focus in the short to medium term should be expanding the core arboriculture services that have brought it the most success over the last 9 years.
The organisation has already won a £100,000 contract with a local social housing trust since the review - safeguarding three jobs in the process.
“Expanding our customer base for arboriculture work will help us to secure our revenues, plan and manage our workload more effectively and provide more high quality feedstock for our up-cycling activities”, said Phil Benn, managing director and founder.
In the pipeline
Moving forward, TreeStation is also working with energy efficiency experts at the Business Growth Hub to explore the possibility of installing a roof-mounted solar system to power its on-site operations.
“The Hub’s support has been really important for us - it has given us the confidence to respond to changing market demands and diversify our business. The support also cements our strong ethics and commitment to sustainability”, Benn added.
Daniel Dickinson, low carbon sector advisor at the Business Growth Hub, said: “It is exciting to be supporting an organisation with such a strong environmental and social ethos at this moment in time as they start to expand their services, and we look forward to continuing to work with TreeStation over the coming months.”
To find out more about the Hub’s support for Greater Manchester SMEs, or to read other success stories, click here.