Arts Derbyshire


Derbyshire organisations helping give people a well-deserved sit-down with new eco benches

Members of the public and company employees are having a wellbeing boost with new eco benches and picnic tables made by a pioneering Derbyshire furniture company.

Darley Dale Town Council and Garnalex aluminium company of Heage are two of the latest organisations to invest in public and employee wellbeing by buying outdoor seating from TDP Ltd – a King’s Award winning business making furniture from recycled plastic.

Wirksworth-based TDP owners Rob and Anne Barlow are passionate about the environment and provide customers with precise details about exactly how much plastic has been saved from landfill with each piece of furniture sold, along with how much CO2 has been saved from being emitted into our warming world.

Darley Dale Town Council has now bought and installed ten brand new TDP benches and four planters around the town for local people to enjoy.

Town council clerk Ian Adkin said: “We had started the process of replacing all our old wooden benches. Rather than pay to get them refurbished, we decided instead on a more environmental furniture solution.

“We decided on more hard-working, environmentally friendly benches in areas of the town that have got the highest footfall.”

Mr Adkin said the benches had been even more successful than hoped for with local people reporting how much they enjoyed sitting on them and appreciating their local environment.

He said: “The new benches are cleaner and more inviting and suddenly people are sitting in these areas every day! People are sitting down and having their lunch on them which we rarely saw with the previous wooden benches. They’ve given the area a real lift.

“They look really smart. One of the things that people really like is that on a rainy day, people can just wipe the wet off the bench, you couldn’t do that with the old wooden ones.

“We’ve had some really good feedback from people. The benches are comfortable and clean and environmentally friendly which is important.”

Ross Hartshorn at Garnalex said the benches had been purchased to benefit the 150 employees who work at the aluminium extrusion facility, to help staff relax outdoors during their breaks.

The company has invested in two of TDP’s Bradbourne picnic tables for use by their employees, which is the equivalent of recycling around 25,000 plastic bottles, or saving more than half a year’s worth of CO2 emissions from the average UK home.

Ross said: “It’s important to us that we give our staff relaxing spaces for them to utilise during their breaks. As a manufacturer that’s committed to sustainability and is fully on board with all the benefits of recycling, through our use of UK sourced aluminium, we were delighted to find a local supplier who supplied the seating we were after in such a high-quality, recycled way. It’s already been a great hit with staff, and the wet July and August we’ve had highlights the importance of the maintenance free nature of TDP’s products.”

TDP founder Rob Barlow said: “We’re always delighted to hear that our outdoor furniture is not only helping the environment but also giving people a great opportunity to get out into the fresh air. It’s very important that employers and public sector organisations invest in their outdoor spaces to boost employee wellbeing as well as their own social credentials.

“There’s much greater awareness these days about how the natural environment helps our wellbeing. With local authorities now under more pressure to invest in parks and green spaces, it’s a great time to think about long-term solutions when it comes to outdoor furniture.

“The horrors of plastic in the natural world are well documented, but that’s why recycling this hard-wearing material has great results when it comes to making our furniture. Our benches not only save plastic from getting into our oceans, they are also virtually maintenance free and extremely durable too. And we’re proud to say they’re made right here in Derbyshire too!”

TDP is celebrating the end of the summer with an offer of 10% off all furniture during September. Use code SEPT23 and see for more.

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