A Greater Lincolnshire-based horticulture producer and supplier has secured a £200,000 debt funding package from Maven Capital Partners and the Midlands Engine Investment Fund.
Jepco Glebe Limited will use the finance to invest in a new hydroponic lettuce production facility – the first of its kind in the UK.
Now in its third generation, the family-run company produces and sells a wide range of salad and vegetable products to the manufacturing, retail, food service and wholesale sectors in the UK and overseas markets.
Although Jepco already offers hydroponically-grown salad and vegetables to ensure its products are available beyond just the summer months, its existing unit operates at a limited level and does not produce in the colder months of the year. The new facility will provide all-year-round growing capability using environmentally responsible processes and green technology.
The investment will also see the creation of four new jobs.
Hydroponics involves the process of growing plants by using mineral nutrient solutions in sand, gravel, or liquid, without the use of soil. The technological advancements and increasing success rates associated with the commercial hydroponics industry are some of the factors that have led to the market expanding exponentially.
Stuart Piccaver, Managing Director at Jepco Glebe said: “By investing in hydroponic solutions, we will be able to offer our customers a high yielding alternative for the future. The ability to continually supply high quality, environmentally friendly products as part of our growth plan excites us greatly. We look forward to growing and working with Maven in the coming years.”
The company was introduced to Maven by Anglia Commercial Solutions, a nationwide commercial finance broker which provides businesses with the most appropriate lender for their funding needs ranging from traditional to alternative sources of finance.
Richard Altoft, Investment Director at Maven Capital Partners said: “Jepco is a well-established business that has successfully diversified into a growing market. The firm is a great fit for the MEIF Debt Fund and the loan will help to support its ambitious growth plans. The company is run by an experienced and dedicated management team, which is committed to supplying high quality products to its wide-ranging customer base.”
The MEIF project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the ERDF as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.