A thriving Scottish Christmas tree business has been put on the market for a staggering £7m.
The 584-acre lands, comprised of Tayside Forestry Christmas Trees, Tayside Forestry Firewood and the popular Pine Cone Café and Gift Shop at Auchray Farm, has been brought to the market by property-sellers Bidwells.
The Angus-based business has grown from an original site of just nine acres.
The business has been built up over 25 years by owner Brian Hughes, whose father founded the site 60 years ago.
However, the 55-year-old, has now decided to take a step back.
Each of the three main parts of the business has annual sales of approximately £1million with over a million Christmas Treets currently planted on the estate – both pot grown and cut trees.
The land also includes two semi-detached, five-bedroom cottages and workers’ accommodation.
A comprehensive renewable energy system with two wood-chip boilers which heat all the buildings at the Templeton site.
A CHP unit which produces 50kw of electricity, a solar panel system and a 15kw wind turbine are also all build into the site.
A total of 392 acres of arable land is included in the sale and a further 192 acres of planted land is currently rented.
Over the years the Christmas tree business has increased its output to almost 90,000 trees per year.
The business has also survived a fire in 2019 and the struggling climate of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Hughes said: “We currently employ about 40 people with extra staff brought in during the festive season. We built the accommodation because we wanted to retain good people to work here – and we have.
“As well as selling directly to the public, we also stock large retail businesses, wholesalers and garden centres.
“I helped my father grow, harvest and sell Christmas trees from the age of 10 and you could say they’re in my blood! It’s been a hard decision for me to put the whole business on the market but the time is right.
“With a focussed person at the helm, there is potential to expand the business further, which is exciting.
“The popularity of real Christmas trees is growing due to people realising how environmentally friendly they are compared to an imported plastic tree. We are already making plans for harvest this festive season and orders are coming in all the time.
“We also have 2,500 firewood customers within a 30-mile radius and we average at least one new customer every day – which is quite incredible but not surprising really given the current popularity of wood-burning stoves as an economical heat source.”
A short video of the site can be found on the Bidwells website.
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