Written by: Keith Tully
Reviewed: Tuesday 19th May, 2015
A Yorkshire-based food producer specialising in gluten-free products has invested in a new factory in response to rising demand for its offerings.
The Abbeydale Food Group is expecting to see its newly refurbished 14,000 sq ft facility in Scunthorpe result in a doubling of revenues and for new jobs to be created.
Abbeydale now turns over some £7.5 million on an annual basis, having been created as a holding company that purchased two local businesses, namely Saxon Quality Foods and Chapel Foods, out of administration in 2011.
Those acquisitions have provided a basis for Abbeydale to develop as a significant local employer in Scunthorpe and a large-scale supplier of frozen foods across Yorkshire and beyond.
With the support of a £100,000 business loan from Finance Yorkshire, the group has now set its sights on establishing a significant presence as a maker of gluten-free foods.
“People are more aware of gluten intolerance and this has led to an increase in demand for gluten-free products,” explains Abbeydale’s managing director Andrew Hayes. “We had reached a point where our existing facilities were unsuitable to meet this demand.”
“Our business loan investments enable SMEs to realise their potential, securing and increasing jobs in the region,” said Alex McWhirter, Yorkshire Finance’s chief executive. “Our latest investment in Abbeydale Food Group shows how Finance Yorkshire is continuing to invest and how we can help other businesses achieve sustainable growth.”
McWhirter went on to point out that the UK’s gluten-free foods market is now worth roughly £180 million on an annual basis, with the sector having been responsible for more novel products in recent years than any other area of the food industry.
Reflecting on the prospects for his company going forward, Abbeydale’s managing director Hayes said: “We have doubled our turnover once and we want to do it again. We will do this by continuing to develop quality, traditional British foods that meet the needs of retailers, caterers and the consumer.”
Finance Yorkshire provides loans ranging in scale from £15,000 to £2 million to businesses looking to pursue growth in their industries as SME operators. It is funded by the UK government, the European Regional Development Fund and by finance from the European Investment Bank.