A co-operative that provides a broad range of wood-related services, from tree surgery to selling fuel, is consolidating after a period of rapid growth with support from The Co-operative Loan Fund.
Greater Manchester TreeStation, based in West Gorton, aims to make the conurbation a greener, more sustainable environment by a combination of responsible woodland management, biomass fuel supply and zero wastage of natural wood resources.
The business started in 2003 and was called Ecos. Greater Manchester TreeStation was set up in 2008 and gradually took over the work of Ecos. In 2012 it changed its legal structure to become a society for the benefit of the community. After two community share issues it has 220 members who have invested a total of £500,000.
Now TreeStation employs 25 people and its 5,000 square metres yard in Vaughan Street is the hub for a broad range of wood related activities in Manchester. It is part of a thriving community in Manchester of people who are co-operating to live and work in socially and environmentally conscious ways.
Financial Director Patrick Morello said: “TreeStation has grown rapidly in recent years and this loan is going to help us consolidate and become more profitable. We are expecting further growth in treework contracts and firewood sales over the next few years.”
Ian Rothwell, Investment Manager at Co-operative & Community Finance, which manages The Co-operative Loan Fund, said: “This is a brilliant co-op that has a lot of support in the local community. The nature of their work is seasonal and we are very happy to help smooth out their cash flow with a loan.”