MP Andrew Turner was in Shanklin last week attending the opening of an expansion of Gepetto's, a manufacturing plant for painted concrete garden gnomes. Turner said he was pleased to attend and said that the expansion was keeping on track with his One Wight election platform.
"With the expansion of Gepetto's the Isle of Wight may soon be self sufficient with respect to the manufacture of painted concrete garden gnomes and may soon have excess capacity to supply the mainland."
Gepetto's owner Gerry Olafson says that he now has six full time postions but hopes to expand to seven or eight. While founded on making traditional style gnomes Gepetto's has recently expanded to include celebrity based lawn ornaments. New models include Boris Johnson, David Cameron and a life-size Wayne Rooney which based on advance sales may be a real winner.
"We have had trouble keeping up with demand for the Wayne Rooney model that's for sure, this new addition will help as it will provide more room for storage of dry concrete powder and green castings of statues."
"We hope to contribute to the Shanklin economy more as we continue to update our older models. We will be advertising locally for temporary positions to model for our traditional gnome statue. With computer technology there is no need to have a diminutive stature, just a cheerful disposition. We can provide false beards and shapeless felt hats if need be."