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Silver Birch (Scotland) Ltd

Silver Birch was established in 1996 as a 'not for profit distribution' organisation with support from East Dunbartonshire Council and the Glasgow Learning Disability Partnership. A company limited by guarantee and a registered charity, Silver Birch provides a variety of work experience for individuals with learning difficulties by operating a compost production facility in Kirkintilloch and a garden plant production centre at an eleven-acre site at Lochmill in Milton of Campsie. Silver Birch's efforts have been recognised by Scottish Enterprise Dunbartonshire with the Business in the Community Award 2003.

Over the years, Silver Birch built up a strong customer base for the sale of organic compost, which was complimented in 2001 by the purchase of the eleven-acre site, at Milton of Campsie, with a loan from the Royal Bank of Scotland. They employ 12 full-time staff and 50 trainees in general production, landscaping, despatch and delivery, catering, housekeeping and office support.

Silver Birch also runs projects in partnership with the Kelvinbank Resource Centre and East Dunbartonshire Council.

The Kelvinbank Garden Project is a new project where Silver Birch has an agreement to develop the gardens of Kelvinbank Resource Centre as a resource for the Centre and the local community. Silver Birch trainees working on this project will be able to undertake training modules and work towards vocational qualifications. The trainees will then be able to use their combine practical experience and qualifications to move into employment.

Waste Not Want Not is a partnership with East Dunbartonshire Council for the collection of garden waste. Silver Birch will then collect waste from the Green Bins provided by the Council. The waste will be put through a process of screening and shredding at the Lochmill site and a range of compost mixes will be produced from the waste.

The Way Forward

Silver Birch has big plans to grow and develop its income generating potential. The site at Lochmill is the focus of new development plans the company hopes will see Silver Birch becoming one of the largest social enterprises in East Dunbartonshire. Silver Birch is soon to locate all their activities at Lochmill in several phases of redevelopment, at a total cost of around £1,000,000. This will boost their capacity to generate more income and manage a workforce of 18 full-time staff and 100 trainees with learning difficulties. As part of this process market studies are being carried out into a range of new products and services such as ornamental bark, flower arrangements and a cafeteria.

For further information, contact:
Alice Cassels
Silver Birch (Scotland) Ltd
10 Donaldson Street, Kirkintilloch
Glasgow G66 1XB
Tel: 0141 777 5050

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Company Registration No. 278156. Scottish Charity No. SC 029210