Charlesfield is a small estate in the central Scottish Borders region. Recognising the difficult economic challenges faced by a small estate, Charlesfield is working to diversify its business.
Trevor Jackson (fourth generation), explored the expansion possibilities for the industrial estate at Charlesfield which had grown out of the old munitions factory, which was built on land requisitioned from the estate during the Second World War. The estate has long been recognised as a strategic employment site by the Scottish Borders Council and is currently home to more than 70 businesses within its industrial estate.
In 2009 Charlesfield received planning permission to expand the industrial estate. In 2012 consent was applied for and granted for the development of an anaerobic digestion plant to produce methane to be injected into the gas grid which runs close to the site. Planning and financial close with Iona Capital, an investor in renewable energy projects, occurred in September 2014 and the anaerobic digestion plant is now in construction and looking to be injecting gas by the end of summer 2015. The gas plant will meet the needs of the majority of the central Scottish Borders.
The feedstock for the plant will come from surrounding farms which have already planted crops to be harvested this year. This gives an alternative market with predictable returns for the local agricultural community. The plant aims to support the Scottish Government’s renewable heat targets 2020, finding a suitable alternative fuel for the Scottish Borders and fundamentally to underpin future economic development at Charlesfield.