A business that started out in a disused cowshed has moved to bigger premises after hitting more than £1 million in sales.

The Garden Village, the first UK company to design and make wheelie bin storage units, has grown from manufacturing one to more than 100 products at its new home in Altham near Accrington.

The 7,500 sq ft industrial unit is a far cry from the company’s early days, but ideally positions it for future growth as it looks to expand into the commercial bin storage market.

Trained horticulturist Caroline Donelan, 37, was running a gardening landscape design business when a bout of ill health forced her to cut back on active work and focus on this new opportunity.

Lancashire Telegraph: The bin storage unitsThe bin storage units (Image: Agency)

What started out as a side hustle quickly grew, but it was during the Covid pandemic that sales really took off as people began to invest more in their outside space.

She said: “We were asked so many times to make storage units for bins so we decided to have a go at making our own, literally starting in a rented cowshed on a local farm.

“I knew there was a gap in the market as we had researched it and couldn’t find anything similar on sale, but I never imagined that it would take off in the way it has.

“I think that, particularly during Covid, people were spending all this money to make their gardens look nice but were then left still having to look at ugly bins and wanted a solution for that.

“All of our products are made by our expert craftspeople using local, sustainable, pressure-treated timber, so they are responsibly sourced and made to not only look good but to last.”

The Garden Village now employs a team of 10, manufacturing upwards of 20 units per day including bin stores in varying sizes, storage for garden equipment, bikes, logs, parcels and even an outside bar.

The latter picked up a gold award in the outdoor leisure category at last year’s Garden Industry Manufacturers Awards.

The business has moved premises a few times since its inception but hopes the latest, which will also be the site of its brand new showroom, will be its last.

Lancashire Telegraph: An outdoor barAn outdoor bar (Image: Agency)

The move to the bigger premises was overseen by law firm Jackson Lees whose corporate and commercial team has worked with The Garden Village for several years, advising on all major matters including a recent share acquisition to make Caroline the sole shareholder.

As well as negotiating the lease and dealing with the share acquisition, Jackson Lees has also recently prepared the terms and conditions and contracts for a new range of products aimed at the commercial bin storage market.

Caroline added: “It’s an exciting time for us. It’s been a learning curve, but I’ve been lucky to have had really good advice from Jackson Lees, particularly Jen Goodwin and Rebecca Emmitt who took the stress away and explained everything in a way that I could understand."

Jen Goodwin, a solicitor in the corporate and commercial team at Jackson Lees, said: “It has been a pleasure to watch The Garden Village grow and facilitate a smooth transition as Caroline and her team embark on the next chapter in their new premises.

“I wish them all the very best for what I’m sure will be a successful future.”