IT’S a fourth-generation farm on the outskirts of Glasgow and like many in the industry it is now looking to diversify to survive and secure a long-term future.

From farm shops to self-catering accommodation and day trips, farms have had to adapt in an increasingly difficult industry.
However, through the rise of what is described as Agritourism there are now novel ideas of expending the traditional farming business.
For the Imrie family, including six siblings, they are now planning to develop their 500 acres site into a country wedding venue.

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The new multipurpose events space at Hillhead Farm will provide the backdrop for a ‘fairytale countrysude wedding’, despite its East Dunbartonshire location.

The Herald: Family affair - the Imrie's are launching a wedding venue at Hillhead Farm, East DunbartonshireFamily affair - the Imrie's are launching a wedding venue at Hillhead Farm, East Dunbartonshire
Work on installing a 230 square metre timber-frame dome structure at the heart of the farm will begin this weekend, with bookings for next year’s summer season set to open at the end of the month.
The Imrie’s hope the venture hope it will help safeguard the future of Hillhead Farm, in Torrance, for generations to come.
The land is owned and operated by Antoinette, 50, and John Imrie, 53, and their six children Naomi Smart, 30, Matt, 29, Jessica, 26, Ben, 24, Tabitha, 20, and Keziah, 17.
Eldest son Matt Imrie says going into business with his brothers and sisters was one of the easiest decisions he has ever made, investing more than £50,000 in bringing their vision to life.

The Herald: Matt Imrie jumped at the chance to go into business with his siblingsMatt Imrie jumped at the chance to go into business with his siblings
He said: “They are my best friends. I couldn’t think of anyone else I would want to invest in this exciting project with. The farm means so much to us all – it’s part of our livelihoods and we want to share that passion and love with as many people as possible.
“We live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world. During the summer months, when the cows and sheep are grazing on the grass and the hay bales are spread out in the distance, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in the Highlands.
“It’s that feeling of seclusion that means our guests will be able to enjoy complete autonomy for their wedding while still being able to see the city centre. It’s a truly unique, fairytale venue that’s completely different to anything I have ever seen before.
“This is such a special project which my family and I have poured our hearts into for the past decade. We can’t wait to share it with everyone.”
The venue will make its debut in less than a fortnight, when Matt’s younger sister Jessica marries her fiancé, James Bedford, on June 25.
Mr Imrie added: “Jess has always wanted to get married on the farm. It’s going to be a great opportunity for us to see how the venue operates and gives us plenty of time to make any tweaks before we start taking bookings.
“That being said, if we don’t get it right for Jess’ big day, I don’t think any of us will make it past the 25th.”
The Imrie family have lived on Hillhead Farm, in Torrance, for 100 years. Mr Imrie, a project manager for Scottish Power Renewables, hopes the venture will help safeguard the land and create a sustainable business for years to come.
He added: “This isn’t just a passion project for me and my siblings – it’s giving our parents a sense of security too. Succession is really important to our family, and we want to ensure our parents can comfortably pass the reins over to us and we can do the same for the next generation.
“The industry is facing an unsettled future, which means farmers need to look at new ways of safeguarding their land. If successful, I think we could provide a great blueprint to help others diversify and create new ways of income.”
The multi-purpose events venue will be available to rent on a one or two-day basis from April to September each year, operating around the winter farming cycle and yearly lambing period.
The dome will comfortably hold up to 100 day and 150 evenings guests, with plans also in place to build six luxury on-site accommodation pods later this year.
A preview will be held from from June 26 until July 2.

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