Milk business Town Head Farm secures £800k loan to invest in site

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

Mason (L) with senior operations manager Mike Oversby
Mason (L) with senior operations manager Mike Oversby

Related tags: Dairy, Finance

Milk producer and distributor Town Head Farm is expecting to double capacity with the opening of a new warehouse in Keighley, following an £800,000 loan from Lloyds Bank.

The family-owned business, which trades under the name Dales Dairies and is based at Grassington, Skipton is led by David Oversby, grandson of founder William Oversby.

It produces, processes and sells milk and juices to wholesalers, caterers, supermarkets and regional doorstop sellers across Yorkshire and the North West from its production site at the foot of the Yorkshire Dales. The dairy’s 80-strong team also supplies milk to local schools and NHS hospital trusts.

The company, which chalked up £14.5m in sales in the year to 31 March 2020 said demand soared for doorstop deliveries of its milk during the UK’s three lockdowns. As a result, the team recognised the need to boost production capacity to meet demand and drive growth.

New equipment

The finance package is being used to support the purchase of new equipment, including a glass bottling line and bottle washing machine. As production ramps up in Keighley, Town Head Farm plans to use the original site in Grassington to support the development of new products, including juices, dairy-free alternatives such as oat milk, and own-brand cheeses.

“Dales Dairies is a third-generation family business, and we are always looking for new ways to supply the highest quality products and create local jobs in Yorkshire,"​ said Paul Mason, commercial director at Town Head Farm.

"The pandemic generated huge demand for doorstop deliveries, which looks set to continue, and our expanded site with more efficient equipment gives us the room to grow to meet that demand.

'New phase of growth'

“This marks the second time that the team at Lloyds Bank have supported our growth ambitions, after helping us with the initial purchase of our Keighley site. We are now in a position to unlock a new phase of growth at Town Head, serving even more customers across the North of England and helping to support the regional dairy farmers who supply our milk.” 

Alexandra Butterworth, relationship director at Lloyds Bank, said: “We’ve worked with David and the team at Town Head Farm for many years now, and it has been so rewarding to watch the business go from strength to strength. They have emerged from a challenging 18 months stronger than ever, seeking out new ways to grow and adapting to changing consumer behaviour.”

Related topics: Dairy, Operations, Processing equipment

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