A North Lincolnshire family farm has built a new free range egg-laying facility with financial support from Yorkshire Bank, leading to the business more than doubling its production output.
V Wilkins & Sons has developed the new facility which will house 64,000 free range hens, on its existing site in Ulceby between Scunthorpe and Grimsby. This will increase the total number of hens the farm can house from 40k to 104k.
The funding was provided by Oliver Maxey, relationship manager at Yorkshire Bank in Lincoln, and has led the farm to employ two new full-time members of staff.
The third-generation family business was established in Leicestershire by Victor Wilkins, the grandfather of current owner, Paul Wilkins, who runs the farm alongside his father Richard. Paul’s son Sam (19) also recently joined the business.
Starting out as a traditional mixed farm in the 1920s, V Wilkins & Sons now specialises in arable farming and free-range egg production.
Sustainability is a major focus for the business, which utilises grain grown on the farm as feed for the hens. Conversely, the birds’ waste is used as fertiliser for the crops.
The business has experienced steady growth over the last decade and has been increasing the number of hens on the farm every few years since owners Paul and Richard diversified into egg production in 2004.
Paul said: “As we’ve evolved into a competitive business, sustainability has become a priority for us and we’ve managed to nicely tie together our farming activities to help achieve this. In the future, I hope to continue increasing the number of hens and grow production even further, in line with market demand.
“I can’t speak highly enough when it comes to Yorkshire Bank’s support. The team’s knowledge of agribusiness is very strong and they’ve been really helpful in steering the business in the right direction.”
Oliver Maxey, relationship manager at Yorkshire Bank’s Business and Private Banking Centre in Lincoln, said: “V Wilkins & Sons is an example of a family farming business diversifying its offer and experiencing significant growth from doing so, while creating jobs for the local community. We are proud to support the farm’s recent development and look forward to working with Paul and the team as they grow.
“As economic conditions continue to improve, Yorkshire Bank remains focused on supporting the growth ambitions of businesses in Lincolnshire.”