UK agriculture business Vertegrow has linked up with local agri-tech firm IGS on a new vertical farming project in Scotland.

They plan to build a vertical farm, said to be Scotland’s first commercial venture of this kind, in Aberdeenshire in the north east of the country.

A four-tower system will be built in Aberdeenshire in Scotland in late 2020, the companies said.

A 245 sq m “insulated superstructure” will accommodate the towers, alongside a 1,600 sq m service area on Vertegrow’s site at Waterside Farm in Aberdeenshire.

This will provide approximately 1,343 sq m of growing space, producing up to 70 tonnes of produce per annum when fully operational.

Crops grown at the new facility will include basil and other herbs, salad such as rocket, brassicas and chillies. Vertegrow is also planning to trial a range of other crops at the site.

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This is the first move into vertical farming for Vertegrow, diversifying alongside existing agricultural operations. It is growing crops including barley and rye in open fields.

The venture was established through Steadman Partners, a UK-based investment business set up by Martin Dickie, co-founder of local brewer and pub operator BrewDog.

The towers will grow a variety of crops which are intended to service the local food supply chain. Vertegrow said it will work with a range of local customers including retailers, caterers, restaurateurs and other local services, to deliver produce all year round.

IGS is providing the model for the project.

Vertegrow director Graeme Warren said: “We have spent considerable time identifying the right partners and systems, and the IGS platform stood out as a quality solution which could be configured for our needs.

“Growing quality, nutritious food in north east Scotland will allow us to reduce food miles for our customers. Combined with our renewable energy sources and rainwater harvesting, the efficiency of the IGS system is a key part of our ambition to grow crops in a carbon neutral way.”