New home for wheelie bin storage firm as it tops £1m turnover

By Tim Aldred

16 Nov 2023

Caroline Donelan of The Garden Village

A business which manufactures specialist storage for wheelie bins has taken on larger premises after growing from a side hustle to £1m in annual sales.

The Garden Village was launched by trained horticulturist Caroline Donelan, who was running a gardening landscape design business at the time.

When a bout of ill health forced her to cut back on active work, she put more focus on this new opportunity. During the Covid-19 pandemic, sales took off as people began to invest more in their outside space.

The business began with one design, manufactured in a disused cowshed. Now it employs a team of 10, manufacturing upwards of 20 units per day, from its new 7,500 sq ft premises in Altham.

The range has expanded too, now spanning varying sizes, storage for garden equipment, bikes, logs, parcels and even an outside bar. The latter picked up a gold award in the outdoor leisure category at last year’s prestigious Garden Industry Manufacturers Awards.

Caroline said: "We were asked so many times to make storage units for bins so we decided to have a go at making our own, literally starting in a rented cowshed on a local farm.

“I knew there was a gap in the market as we had researched it and couldn’t find anything similar on sale, but I never imagined that it would take off in the way it has.

“I think that, particularly during Covid, people were spending all this money to make their gardens look nice but were then left still having to look at ugly bins and wanted a solution for that.

“All of our products are made by our expert craftspeople using local, sustainable, pressure-treated timber, so they are responsibly sourced and made to not only look good but to last.”

The business has moved premises a few times since the start but hopes the latest, which will also be the site of its brand new showroom, will be its last.

The deal was overseen by law firm Jackson Lees whose corporate and commercial team has worked with The Garden Village for several years, advising on all major matters including a recent share acquisition to make Caroline the sole shareholder.

 

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