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Investing in bricks and water

Multimillion investment for two leading British bottled water brands.

Water Brands Group, independent owner of Harrogate Spring Water and charity water Thirsty Planet, has announced the single largest investment in its 11 year history.

In a progressive move that will quadruple business output from two of Britain’s leading spring water brands, the family-owned company is set to invest £6m in a new state-of-the-art bottling line at its site in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

Work has already begun on the 23,000 sq ft. extension to the existing building, more than doubling the current facility. The revolutionary new Krones showpiece bottling system is the first of its type to the UK.

The build is due for completion in February 2014, with operations expected to be fully up and running in April. It comes after record-breaking trading periods for the fast- growing company, which saw gross sales of 10m bottles sold in July. Consistently outperforming market growth in the bottled water category, Water Brands grew by 16 per cent in the last financial year to over £8 million – against a UK market increase of 3.3 per cent.

James Cain, Managing Director of the Group
James Cain, Managing Director of the Group

James Cain, Managing Director of the Group, explained:

The bottled water market has never been in a better position. It’s now valued at an estimated £1.7 billion, and we’ve kept ahead of the curve. Growth is down to the public becoming disillusioned with sugary soft drinks, coupled with a continued move towards healthier hydration. And of course good weather always helps.

We have one of the top five spring water brands in the sector with our signature brand Harrogate, and Thirsty Planet prides itself on being the most ethically robust charity water brand in the market. Since 2002, we’ve achieved annual growth of over 30 per cent, significantly ahead of market.

We now need to safeguard and further enhance our offering, which is why we’re investing £6m in the most technologically advanced equipment available, in order to significantly increase the capacity we can deliver. It’s about being forward thinking and future proofing the business.

Harrogate’s iconic water was voted ‘Best Sparkling Water in the World’ and is the original British bottled water, boasting an extraordinary heritage dating back to 1571. Since that time, Harrogate has been synonymous with the highest quality and a unique, definitive style. It is now a trusted national brand and stocked extensively across the country. Thirsty Planet was launched in 2007 and is dedicated to bringing clean water to communities across sub-Saharan Africa in partnership with Pump Aid. It has now raised over £1.6m for the award-winning charity.

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