The project manager overseeing the redevelopment of GROW's new look site at Les Coutanchez says he has been left quite humbled by the support the team have received as they reach the final stages of the building work.
The charity set itself a £3million fundraising target in 2020 to pay for a major upgrade at the horticultural site.
That target was met, and exceeded in 2022, following numerous fundraising initiatives and donations from various sources.
Pictured: GROW staff and crew hit their fundraising target last year.
Work to redevelop the site is going to plan and is expected to be finished this summer, with the staff and crew moving back in by September ahead of an official opening for the public in October.
GROW's Project Director Angus Bodman said that none of the work would have been able to happen without such support.
"It's difficult to think that it could have happened anywhere else. The generosity of commercial and private supporters and donors has been quite humbling," he said.
"Marguerite (Talmage) raised £3m in 18 months and we were told right at the outset 'do not do this and do not aim for £3m, just be modest and go for just over the two' but we felt that we couldn't do the project that way and there have been subsequent hurdles which we've had to overcome, and again we've received amazing support from people locally. It's been an astonishing experience."
Pictured: (l-r) Marguerite Talmage, Stuart Smale, Angus Bodman, Tracey Hutchins.
Among the new facilities is a large glasshouse which will be used for the propagation and raising of the goods GROW grows and sells.
The glasshouse has been built out of recycled materials from two existing greenhouses which were no longer needed by their previous owners. They've been relocated and put back together with accessible entrances and paths throughout. A veranda has been built to one side intended to be used as a sales area.
The offices and parking areas have been remodelled to create more space for a workshop and hospitality training block. The intention being that in time GROW can take on even more crew members and train some of them up to leave the charity site and move into paid careers in hospitality, horticulture or other industries.
Stuart Smale, Horticultural Manager, said: "GROW started off growing commercial crops and as that industry declined, we went more into growing pot plants and bedding plants which is what the core business is now. In addition to that we have a couple of maintenance teams that go out every day doing people's gardens and at places like Castle Cornet we help the groundsmen there but the new GROW will provide a lot more possibilities for the crew to train, so with the cafeteria and we're going to have a much bigger workshop for making wooden goods and we're going to have a retail space so we can sell the goods that the crew make and we hope to expand on the lines that we have in the retail shop."
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