’80 jobs to be lost’ after council issues eviction notice to Glasgow’s Locavore

’80 jobs to be lost’ after council issues eviction notice to Glasgow’s Locavore

Up to 80 jobs are thought to be at risk after Glasgow City Council issued an eviction notice to a local food business.

Locavore said the local authority had served a removal notice on its organic farm at Bellahouston Nursery.

The social enterprise said the move means it could be forced to close its two Glasgow stores, putting dozens of jobs at risk.

Locavore said the site is the only organic farm in the city and is expected to harvest tons of tomatoes, cucumbers, beans and kale in the coming months.

But the company will now have until the end of the month to vacate the premises, which it says are used for most of its work.

This comes after the group went into administration in January, which left the board with an unpaid debt.

The site is now operated by Chard Holding Group CIC, which city officials said did not take responsibility for the debt but wanted to continue the lease from the previous company.

Locavore said that while its liquidation nullified the lease, “assurances were given that the new organisation would be able to continue to operate at the site”.

The company said that since October last year it had been encouraged to apply for a £50,000 council grant, which it won, but was then “unexpectedly notified of a removal notice by another department” of the local authority.

Locavore said his farm is home to 120 community growing plots and supplies almost 2,000 families in central Scotland.

Reuben Chesters, founder of Locavore, said: “We are deeply disappointed and frustrated by the lack of transparency around the decision-making process and the board’s unwillingness to explore solutions with us, despite their awareness of the existential threat this position poses to our social enterprise.

“The current position has been reached through a catalogue of delays and errors by various Council departments since October 2023.

“We are exactly the kind of organisation needed to realise local and national visions for a sustainable food future and we should be supported and celebrated by Glasgow City Council.

“It is incredibly disappointing that we are not being treated as a valued partner who can help deliver their policies, plans and strategies.”

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “Locavore has ceased to exist owing hundreds of thousands of pounds to its creditors, including the council.

“As expected, Locavore’s lease also ended when the company went into administration.

“Chard CIC has not assumed responsibility for any of Locavore’s prior debts and Chard CIC has failed to demonstrate appropriate financial governance following the collapse of its predecessor company, Locavore.”

The local authority said the Bellahouston site had not been developed as expected and added that it was “unclear why Chard CIC feels it should take over Locavore’s lease”.

The spokesperson continued: “Our Real Estate Asset Management team, which manages leasing arrangements relating to council properties, has given no assurance that the lease of Bellahouston Nursery would be transferred from Locavore to the new company, Chard CIC.

“We are committed to growing food and will work proactively with other organisations to ensure the Bellahouston site continues to contribute to the city’s food growing agenda.”

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