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08 October 2013

£500,000 loan package helps Cumbrian confectionery company expand

Press Release 8th October 2013

A family owned business established in 1913 which manufactures and sells Kendal Mint Cake, Duncan's of Scotland, Creative Confectionery, Lakeland Maid and Coco Lane brands is expanding its operations.

J E Wilson (Wilson's, Wilson's of Kendal) is funding its expansion using a £500,000 loan package from The North West Fund for Loans Plus, managed by FW Capital, and its bank, HSBC.

HSBC's Lancashire and Cumbria commercial team provided a £250,000 loan to enable Wilson's relocation to a new 36,000 sq ft factory unit at Elmsfield Park near Holme.

An additional £250,000 loan from The North West Fund for Loans Plus enabled the company to fit out and equip the new factory. Wilson's installed four new production lines with full packaging facilities and also purchased other equipment.

The company has also used the loan to fund new product development and plans to launch 150 new own-brand and retailer-branded products in 2013.

Wilson's of Kendal has been manufacturing confectionery in Cumbria since 1913 and currently manufactures a large range of chocolate under contract for numerous major UK high street retailers.

Wilson's is run by third-generation family member and Managing Director Andrew Wilson. He explained the company's expansion plans: "My great grandfather started the company in 1913 and we still make traditional Kendal mint cake to the same recipe today. Over the years we've diversified into other types of confectionery and today it accounts for a small part of our business.

"Chocolate manufacturing is now our key focus and we provide a range of solid, filled and hand-decorated products. I'm committed to growing our business from our base in Cumbria and we've used this funding package to ramp up our production capacity. We can now significantly increase the range of lines we supply."

FW Capital Investment Executive, Andy Traynor completed the investment. He said: "Wilson's is a long-established business with a portfolio of wellknown brands whose sales and profits have risen year on year over the last five years. It has many loyal customers who value the flexible and tailored service it provides.

"This package of loans has provided the company with the capital it needs to put this latest phase of its ambitious expansion plan into action. As part of this plan, Wilson's has also strengthened its management team recently and undertaken a company-wide efficiency drive."

Neil Foulkes, Senior Commercial Manager for HSBC who led the deal on behalf of the bank, added: "Wilson's is a great example of a company that is benefitting by investing through the economic cycle, recognising the need to drive its business forward. HSBC is pleased to support this forward-thinking and innovative company."

The £45m North West Fund for Loans Plus is managed by FW Capital and can lend between £50,000 and £750,000 to North West businesses. It is part of the wider North West Fund, financed jointly by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.



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