Cumbrian confectioner Wilson’s of Kendal has expanded its operations after securing a £500,000 loan package.
The family-owned business, which manufactures ranges including Kendal Mint Cake, Duncan’s of Scotland and Creative Confectionery, and produces own-label chocolate, is using the funding to increase its chocolate production capacity.
A £250k loan from HSBC has allowed the business to relocate to a new 36,000 sq ft factory unit at Elmsfield Park near Holme; while £250k from The North West Fund for Loans Plus enabled the company to fit out and equip the factory with four new production lines and packaging facilities.
The company has also used the money to fund new product development and plans to launch 150 branded and own-label products.
Wilson’s was established in 1913 and is run by third-generation family member and managing director Andrew Wilson. “My great grandfather started the company and we make traditional Kendal mint cake to the same recipe today,” he said. “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.”
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.