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Biscuit firm savours growth with Clydesdale Bank

1st October 2013

An award-winning Scottish biscuit manufacturer is embarking on a substantial premises expansion that will enable future growth, thanks to Clydesdale Bank.

Border Biscuits, which produces, on average, 300,000 packets of premium biscuits weekly, is building a new 1,620 sq m warehouse at its 4,750 sq m site in Lanark.

The extension, which will boost floor space by more than a third, will allow the privately-owned company to increase its storage and improve facilities.

Following the introduction of a new automated production line two years ago, which helped to significantly increase volumes, the firm has been forced to store some of its stock offsite.

A new customer to Clydesdale Bank, Border Biscuits has secured substantial facilities from the Bank to help it achieve its growth aspirations. The deal was delivered by Iain Duff, Business Development Manager at Clydesdale Bank’s Lanarkshire Business and Private Banking Centre in East Kilbride.

Founded in 1984 with just four lines, Border Biscuits now produces more than 30 varieties and supplies all of the major UK supermarkets – Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s. It also supplies to the food service sector and wholesalers.

Its bestselling variety is Dark Chocolate Gingers, with more than 24 million biscuits of this kind alone made last year; representing an increase of seven million compared with 2011.

The firm’s new warehouse also creates an option for future expansion. While exports currently account for less than a tenth of sales, Border Biscuits is seeking to develop its overseas markets.

Its products already have a growing international band of fans, including the Japanese artist who illustrates Border Biscuits’ website. Yuko Inoue was recruited after posting sketches of the company’s Strawberry and Cream Shortbread biscuits on her blog.

The Lanarkshire company employs 150 staff and is on track to record a turnover of more than £12 million this year.

Caryl Hamilton, Financial Director of Border Biscuits, said:

“The partnership we have embarked on with Clydesdale Bank will help to transform the business.

“After experiencing strong growth over the last few years, adding space to our Lanarkshire facility is crucial. The extra space also gives us the option to expand in the future, without having to worry about where we put any new kit.

“One of the other great bonuses of working with Clydesdale Bank is its support for the communities in which it is based. As one of the biggest employers in Lanark we take our responsibility to the local community seriously and we’re delighted that Clydesdale Bank takes the same approach.”

Over the last year, Border Biscuits has won a clutch of industry awards, including Cake and Biscuit Company of the Year at the 2012 Food Manufacturing Excellence Awards. It has also launched a major promotional campaign.

The firm recently held a nationwide competition to find new biscuit recipes. The Border Biscuit Big Baking Bonanza was judged by a panel that included Great British Bake Off finalist James Morton. The winning recipe, Chocolate, Peanut and Fudge Cookies, go on sale this month [October].

A new TV advert, voiced by film and television star Jane Horrocks, and produced by Oscar-winning Ink Films, also went on air last month [September].

Stuart McCallum, Head of Food and Drink for Clydesdale Bank in Scotland, said:

“Since Border Biscuits was founded almost 30 years ago, it has grown to become one of Scotland’s best known premium food brands, with fans all over the world. We welcome the opportunity to help the firm to develop and expand.”

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