Craigie’s Farm in Queensferry is home to a deli café, shop and farm park, and is run by John Sinclair and his family, who took over from his parents in 1995.
The new Little Farmers adventure farm park will house a timber play park for children and a new café seating 150 people. The 1200m² development doubles the current size of the park, and now features a newly revamped animal shed with six pens of animals for visitors to meet.
To support the development, the business approached Bank of Scotland and received a £500,000 funding package and a £65,000 Clean Growth Funding Initiative (CGFI) loan to acquire a 120kW ground source heat pump and a 50kW solar installation which will help reduce the carbon footprint.
The new attraction is now set to open on June 8 and the business will be looking to hire 10 new members of staff after all current staff have been brought back from furlough.
John Sinclair, founder of Craigie’s Farm, said: “Craigie’s Farm normally welcomes more than a quarter of a million visitors a year with people travelling from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Fife to visit our café and farm shop.
“The pandemic has been challenging for the business, but it also gave us an opportunity to develop Little Farmers. Thanks to the support from Bank of Scotland we’ve been able to complete the new development that will provide more activities for visitors and boost employment in the local area.
“As restrictions continue to ease, we are looking forward to getting back to some form of normality and hope the opening of Little Farmers will give us a real boost this summer.”
The Clean Growth Funding Initiative offers discounted lending for green purposes to help businesses reduce their environmental impact.
Julie McLaren, relationship manager at Bank of Scotland, said: “Craigie’s Farm is a long-standing customer of Bank of Scotland and we were more than happy to support the business’ Little Farmers expansion with a development funding package and CGFI loan to set the project in motion.”
She added: ”When the pandemic forced the construction of the new development to grind to a halt, we also assisted the business with a six-figure Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBIL) to enable it to manage the disruption and quickly re-start the project once restrictions allowed.
“At Bank of Scotland, we will continue to stand by businesses through these unpredictable times and support them every step of the way to achieve their growth goals and sustainable ambitions.”