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New FD appointed at growing farm turbine specialist Earthmill

Wetherby-based farm-scale renewables specialist Earthmill has appointed Andy Mill to its board as finance director.

Mr Mill (35), originally from Edinburgh, is a former PwC accountant and has spent the last five years as a finance director and financial consultant to firms including Lexia Solutions and Andrew Page. He will take over the financial management of £12m Earthmill from commercial director Mark Woodward.

Mr Woodward said: The business has grown by more than 50 per cent over the past two years, and we needed to strengthen the board with a dedicated finance director to enable us to plan for the fundraising and further growth that is on the horizon.

Andy has the experience of five years as finance director in a fast moving group, and a background with a big four firm that is ideal for us.
Earthmill was founded in 2009 by managing director Steve Milner and has grown to become one of the leaders in medium-scale turbine sales and installation in the UK.

With over 175 turbines in the ground on farms and rural land across the UK, the firm is the largest customer of leading turbine supplier Endurance, and is looking to grow in the area of service and maintenance, as well as sales of turbines.

Typical farm-scale turbines are approximately a third of the size of the largest commercial units and cost between £250,000 and £600,000 to buy and install. The turbines, which can be installed individually or in pairs, generate power worth up to £150,000 per annum for farmers operating them in suitable locations.

Andrew Mill, finance director at Earthmill
Andrew Mill, finance director at Earthmill

Recent changes to the Government’s Feed in Tariff Scheme (FiTS) have reduced the amount of subsidy available to turbine operators but this has not dampened demand for the increasingly efficient turbines. Improving technology coupled with rising energy costs has made turbines an increasingly attractive investment option for farmers across the UK looking to safeguard dwindling revenues.

Andy Mill said: Earthmill is a great Yorkshire success story. The business has grown organically from an entrepreneurial beginning in Steve’s garage, through city investment last year and most recently raising £1.25m of finance through a crowd-funding first that completed last month.

The rapid growth and innovation right through the organisation has been remarkable, and I am looking forward to helping maintain that trajectory. The sector is maturing now as subsidies reduce, and has seen a great deal of consolidation over the last year or so that is a massive opportunity for us.

Earthmill has a great position now as a really well-established professional outfit and one of only a handful of serious players in a market that has plenty more potential for growth.

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