Expansion plans for one of the region’s fastest-growing, award-winning food companies have been submitted to Hambleton Council’s planning committee.
National property consultancy Carter Jonas has submitted plans on behalf of independent producer HECK Food for a purpose-built 30,000 sq ft production and warehouse facility, along with a visitor centre on the family farm at Kirklington near Bedale.
Founded by husband and wife team Andrew and Debbie Keeble, HECK has outgrown its current premises on Leeming Bar Industrial Estate and plans to invest £3.4m in the new development which will also create 32 new jobs in the area.
Carter Jonas’ planning team based in Harrogate advised HECK Food how to make best use of the otherwise redundant farmstead site by completing an extensive property search and evaluation of site as a solution to the needs of the expanding business.
David Boulton, head of planning in the North at Carter Jonas said:
Andrew and Debbie are an inspiration to work with and unbridled in their ambition and approach to a business they clearly love. The move to purpose-designed manufacturing premises adjacent to the A1M will enable the firm to consolidate its business from three sites, more than double employment in this rural location, as well as firmly connect the business to its North Yorkshire roots on the family farm.
The visitor centre is part of HECK’s innovative business approach and clear desire to broaden the appeal of their business by engaging young people as well customers in understanding the opportunities offered by the food industry, as well as demystifying some of the myths associated with it.
Founded in 2012, the Keeble family have farmed at Berryhills Farm since 1959 before diversifying into food production more than 15 years ago. Business growth continues to look buoyant and sales have grown 159% a year to £5.7m this year. The company’s products are now stocked in retailers such as Tesco, Waitrose, Asda, Morrisons and Booths.
TV viewers grew familiar with the HECK Food team on BBC Two’s The Fixer programme broadcast in September 2014 and the company continues to go from strength to strength, ranking fourth on the latest Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 league table of fastest growing private companies and winning the Daily Telegraph 2015 Festival of Business award which celebrates the brightest and best British businesses demonstrating real innovation and stellar growth.