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Can I get funding for my glamping site?

Dealing with effluent waste is pain point for glamping owners. So, this article explores possible waste sanitation options to consider and what RDPE growth grant funding is currently available to help you grow your glamping business.

The future looks bright for glamping businesses

Glamping holidaying has been growing steadily in popularity for the last couple of years. Therefore, fledgeling glamping companies have gradually established themselves as they continue to trade and gain more experience.

After exhibiting at the Farmers Business Innovation Show at the Birmingham NEC last November we, at Glampsan got a clear sense that moving into 2020, the glamping sector is now at a turning point and indeed building momentum. The many conversations we had with glamping owners, landowners and farmers looking to diversify gave us strong evidence that they are more confident and surer of their brands and holiday propositions.

(For more information, click here to read our blog)

Government grants

And, there is more good news as well - did you know that farmers, landowners, holiday and emerging holiday businesses in England can now tap into a £35m Government grant funding? In summary, RDPE (Rural Development Programme for England) growth funding grants of up to £180,000 is available for rural businesses to diversify and buy equipment. This will no doubt help drive business growth, create new jobs and promote tourism. This is certainly very welcome news for rural companies who need a helping hand to boost income. Accessing these funds will be unquestionably helpful for the fledgeling glamping sector as well.

You'll need to hurry though; the deadline for expressions of interest is 16 February 2020.
Click here to open RDPE Growth Fund webpage

The glamping experience identity

As you no doubt know by now, the term glamping was initially derived from glamorous camping. But, glamping today is fast becoming much more than this. In this era of sustainability and carbon footprint conscious choices, the glamping phenomena is genuinely finding a new identity. Today, glamping is much more than lavish camping, it's now also about a range of different countryside vacation experiences. These experiences range from the eco-friendly, the completely off-grid holidaying to those seeking a luxury twist.

Whatever your taste in glamping is, we believe that more holidaymakers will select Britain's great outdoors as their holiday of choice this summer.  

Therefore, for all these reasons, we predict that the glamping sector as a whole will see a breakthrough in demand in 2020.

2020 is a perfect time to invest in a viable waste sanitation solution

Despite all the great news, one of the most significant pain points and headaches, glamping owners face is what to do with effluent waste! In fact, it is for this exact reason that we set up Glampsan as a startup brand - providing waste management solutions to glamping businesses. In 2018 we predicted that the glamping sector would steadily find its feet and mature. This was true all through 2019. Likewise, Glampsan has been finding its own feet too, growing alongside the glamping sector. Being there with our customers, along their learning journey has been invaluable to us. It has given us an affinity to our customers' problems. As such, it has allowed us to mature our product propositions too.

For this reason, we think that 2020 is a perfect time for investing in a viable waste sanitation solution.

Investing in waste sanitation solutions

So, funding for starting up or expanding a Glamping business in 2020, is no doubt very welcome as there are a lot of expensive obstacles to overcome, such as planning permission, building regulations and site access for starters.

When it comes to dealing with waste sewage, there are many external factors to consider before you can design a solution. Such as: How big is your glamping site? How many glamping units or pods will your site include? Will your glamping units be shepherd huts, treehouses, cabins, tents or yurts, etc.?
Other practical considerations will include: is there adequate mains water on-site for washing, cooking showers and toilets, etc.? Also, is there access to mains sewage or not?
Business factors influence the waste management solution as well. These are about the glamping holiday experience itself. For instance: Will, each of your glamping pods, have flushing toilets, or access to public shared conveniences? Alternatively, will your glamping experience include waterless Composting Toilets instead of flushing loos?

So, getting your value holiday business proposition right is vital. Depending on the answers to these, then different waste sanitation solutions will apply.

Below are a few potential waste effluent solutions as a starting point for you to consider:

Waterless toilet solutions

Depending on the above, a simple straight forward solution that you might use a Government RDPE funding grant for could be to invest in waterless Composting Toilets housed in say a bespoke wooden outhouse for each of your glamping units. These are an excellent starting option for authentic off-grid and eco-friendly experiences where mains water and mains sewage might not be readily available. At Glampsan we have extended our product range to include, what we think are, the very best Composting Toilets on the market today.

We have other solutions to provide shower water to the site too.

Simple waste sanitation solutions

Alternatively, the next type of investment option, for government funding, that is both simple and cost-effective for flushing loos, is to use collection tanks located underneath or nearby glamping units. Flushing loos might appeal to the more luxary end of glamping.

These are ideal for larger family yurts or cabins for example,  where there migh be ample room underneath to neatly site a flat-tank, hidden from view.  Shepherds huts too are ideal for this type of solution, as they usually have plenty of room underneath for a waste effluent tank to be located.

These solutions are often perfect where there is mains water, but no mains sewage. This option is also suitable for glamping startups, too, as they are relatively quick and straightforward to install.
You will have to build in costs for sewage removal to empty the tanks from time to time. This can be arranged with a local contractor who will turn up with a tanker to suck out waste and transport it to a nearby municipal sewage plant. We have business connections that can help you there too.

At Glampsan, we have extensive experience in providing a wide range of effluent Flat Tank  capacities, as we have been selling these solutions for years. This option has been popular amongst our glamping customers for some time too. If you are considering this as an option, then have the expertise to help you calculate the optimum tank size for your needs. As this is complex, our customers are very reassured that we can advise them and they see this is a clear benefit.

Where distance or gravity is an issue to a suitable access point for removal, for instance, then we supply lifting pumping stations that silently operate to channel waste wherever it needs to be collected.

Packaged Sewage Treatment Plants

Another, perhaps more long term solution to using Government funding grants is to invest in a Packaged Sewage Treatment Plant. At Glampsan, we predict that these packaged plants will supersede septic tanks due to regulation changes - more of this later.

Essentially a sewage treatment plant is a compact all-in-one solution to dealing with all your glamping site effluent waste. In a nutshell, a Packaged Sewage Treatment Plant does precisely the same job as your local municipal sewage treatment works, but on a smaller mini-scale. However, the rural nature of glamping means, connection to domestic sewage mains is often not possible due to remoteness of glamping locations. This is where such packages come into their own.

The plant processes raw effluent sewage through various stages of treatment that purifies the output to non-polluting quality water that can be discharged safely. They are the 'ultimate' sewage treatment solution. They actually sound more complicated than they actually are. The packaged plants we offer require no electricity, have no moving parts and run silently. They do require groundworks and commissioning. So, a Packaged Sewage Treatment Plant may be a more significant investment than the other options outlined above; however, it's all about economies of scale.

A note on septic tanks...

In the past septic tanks have been a popular solution for many rural applications, both domestic and commercial. A septic tank is essentially a simple way to separate solid waste from liquid effluent without treating the sewage any further. Until January 2020, this untreated waste was allowed to discharge into a soakaway or to a natural watercourse.  But, from now on, new regulations apply. These are called 'General Binding Rules' that now require liquid waste from septic tanks to either:

Discharge to an underground 'herringbone' network of pipes that soakaway the waste into the ground to BS6297 2007.

Or, the liquid sewage has to be treated to a further process that converts it into a non-polluting clean water end product that can safely be discharged to a natural watercourse. In many cases, it may be possible to bolt-on a sewage treatment module that effectively upgrades the septic tank to the same purified output quality you can expect from a Packaged Sewage Treatment Plant. We provide these too.

At Glampsan, we were taken aback by the increased interest in these solutions. And more of our customers are thinking of investing in this solution as it is a long term complete solution for many sites. We think along the same lines. And, for this reason, we are now gearing up, as we speak, to supply these too to our customers.

A Packaged solution to sewage treatment is an ideal long term investment where there is mains water, but no access to sewage mains and where flushing toilets are desired. Such plants are perfect if your business is heading towards being an established glamping site or premises. Our Packaged Sewage Treatment product range covers different capacities from handling from a few glamping pods/units to much larger venues.

(For more info, click here to read our blog on sewage treatment plants)

Social Media

One of our passions is that we love using social media like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in quirky, fun and useful ways to inform you. For example we have an awesome blog site aimed specifically as glamping businesses to help to inform you of waste sanitation solutions. So, head over to our blog website We do regular videos too to help get useful messages across to our customers, and we'd love you to tell us, in the comments, what you think too people.

Sincerely, JT

0800 999 6010‍ (Part of Plastic Solutions based in Aldridge)

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