The deal, which followed an EU productivity grant of about £800,000, will be used by the manufacturer to modernise facilities at its site in Hawes, Wensleydale. This included the purchase of new vats, working tables and cheese-making and curd-handling equipment.
Wensleydale Creamery has also planned to install a new cheese smoking plant, as well as increased storage capacity for milk.
Managing director David Hartley said the investment would help the creamery improve efficiency and process control though an increase in technical excellence.
Strong position for the business
“It puts us in a strong position to grow the business and meet customer demand for our brand and products,” he added. “HSBC UK provided sound guidance and showed enthusiasm for our growth plans.”
In addition, up to £1m of HSBC UK’s funding will go towards a cheese-blending and waxing facility, which would allow the business to blend cheese more efficiently with a modern production line.
Gordon Forester, HSBC UK area director, added: “HSBC UK is a huge supporter of rural British business and Wensleydale Creamery is a much-loved British food brand, crucial to the economic well-being of the deeply rural area in which it is situated. We’re delighted to help with its growth plans.
“David and his team have shown great commitment and strategic thinking behind their plans for sustainable growth and we wish them every success moving forward.”
Wensleydale Creamery produces 4,000t of cheese a year and employs a workforce of 230 people. The manufacturer exports its cheeses around the world, with its key markets being North America, the Middle East and Europe.
Meanwhile, a group of 29 Kintyre dairy farmers are looking to raise £50,000 through crowdfunding in a bid to purchase Campbeltown Creamery from current owner First Milk.