A husband and wife who have built a flower and Christmas tree business in Lockerbie have expanded into tourism with support from the British Business Bank.
Scott and Rebecca Masterton, who received a £20,000 loan from the British Business Bank’s start up loans programme for their Pretty Wild Flower Co business, have added a “shepherd’s hut glamping unit”, providing accommodation for two in the middle of their Christmas tree field.
The British Business Bank, which noted that the loan had been delivered through Transmit Startups, said the couple had received the sixty millionth pound provided through its start up loans programme in Scotland.
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The funding has also helped with the purchase of a small tractor and the installation of two new polytunnels which increase the couple’s flower-growing capacity by one-third.
The British Business Bank said: “The business was launched shortly after the pair got married, when Rebecca noticed a gap in the market for sustainable, locally sourced flowers used in wedding bouquets and for venue decorations. The couple identified a plot of land beside their home as the best site for growing flowers and, with skills from his day job in agriculture and forestry, Scott was able to turn the unused patch into the now-blooming flower farm.”
Mr Masterton said: “In addition to growing stunning flowers, we’ve seen growing demand for interactive experiences and workshops that our customers can get more involved in. We’re already working on plans to incorporate a pick-your-own element for people who stay at the new shepherd’s hut. The location is unlike anything else and will offer a picturesque, off-grid escape in the middle of our Christmas tree field.
“Sustainability is at the heart of all that we do and our flowers are grown organically and picked by hand. The polytunnels we use were recycled from another local farm, and we’re also developing our dried flower business which means fewer freshly cut plants end up as waste.”
He added: “Floristry began as a hobby for…Rebecca but, thanks to funding and support from avenues like the start up loans programme, we’ve been able to make it a full-time career.”
Barry McCulloch, at the British Business Bank, said: “Scottish entrepreneurialism has seen us support some wonderful businesses since start up loans launched more than a decade ago, including The Pretty Wild Flower Co and many others in the outdoors and tourism space. The fact that £60 million of loans has now been allocated to Scottish founders highlights the effectiveness of the scheme in addressing regional imbalances and access to finance among smaller businesses.”
Since launching in 2012, the start up loans programme has provided more than 6,700 loans to businesses in Scotland. On average, each business owner has received around £9,000.