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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

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Carlisle MP officially opens new turf store

Carlisle MP John Stevenson has officially opened a new turf store and shop at Graeme Howe Fencing.

Turf business photo
John Stevenson, left, with Graeme Howe

The business, at Burgh Road Industrial Estate, has also taken on three staff taking the workforce to 21.

Graeme Howe set up the firm in 1994. The firm makes timber fencing – including fence posts and a range of more than 20 types of panels – but has diversified into garden buildings and garages, landscape supplies, Rolawn turf, and concrete and mortar supplies.

Mr Howe, of Belle Vue, Carlisle, said: “You have to diversify. If one side of the business struggles you have the rest of it to keep afloat.”

He has spent £30,000 on fitting out the shop and turf store. He added: “The shop is a big improvement. When you came in before, it felt like walking into a workshop.”

Conservative Mr Stevenson was impressed with what he saw.

He believes that small businesses such as Graeme Howe Fencing are key to Carlisle’s prosperity.

The MP said: “Big businesses are vital too but they are not going to be taking on large numbers of new employees. If all the small businesses take on two or three people each, that has a big impact.”

Mr Stevenson is to meet the Carlisle and Penrith branch of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) to discuss business issues.

The lunch-time session, at Carlisle Castle on April 23, is open to all businesses not just FSB members.

Branch chairman Jonathan Davies said: “We have a good relationship with John Stevenson who is always keen to hear about the issues.

“This meeting will see us discuss the local economic climate, small businesses’ experiences with accessing finance, local transport and barriers to growth.”

Places are free. To book, call 01772 712033.

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