Third Generation Polyethylene Greenhouse Cladding Materials

Lead Participant: innovate UK


The global market for horticultural greenhouse films is £1.4bn per annum and is forecast to grow by

6% p.a. until at least 2020. BPI sales of horticulture greenhouse materials are in the order of £21m

p.a.; this represents a global market share of 1.6%. The BPI target growth is 15% per annum for the 5

years post project, on this basis BPI will see sales growth of £37m over the year 5 period (after

deducting general market growth). On this basis, the BPI global market share would increase to 2.1%

by the end of the period. This is a modest market share growth expectation. Assuming a project cost

of £1.4m this would represents a sales to project cost gearing ratio of 26:1. Sales are likely to be

significant as the sector is now highly commoditised and the novel materials will deliver clear and

substantial benefits to growers, including yield (c. +10%) and crop quality increases, as well the

potential to reduce manual labour (reduced ventilation of fruit tunnels via IR reflection). Any means to

reduce the reliance on manual labour will be a significant benefit to growers. A significant benefit of

driving yield and quality via greenhouse films is that the environmental impacts are almost entirely

passive; in fact increasing yield per unit area can reduce environmental impacts as fewer chemicals

are required per unit area, and a lower tonnage of film per unit of production. There will also be

highly significant benefits to Schulmans in terms of master batch sales. Haygrove Tunnels will benefit

in terms of the added value from film and novel tunnel sales. As well as production benefits, Berry

Gardens and Finlay’s will benefit from having a 3 year lead on the development of novel technology

which could underpin greenhouse productions systems for a considerable time in the future. There

may be significant opportunities to extend patent developments into other industrial sectors, there is

considerable interest in IR reflective materials for building heat control (reducing air conditioning


Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer



innovate UK, Swindon


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