Richard Stevenson from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, Westons MD Helen Thomas, Mark Robinson of Lloyds and Paddy Smith of Westons

Westons Cider has invested in new bottling technology to double its production capacity after securing a £1.5m bank funding package.

Established in 1880, the family owned business produces the Stowford Press, Henry Westons, Caple Rd, Wyld Wood, Old Rosie, Rosie’s Pig and Mortimer’s Orchard brands for retailers, wholesalers and pubs.

Following increased demand over the past five years, Westons secured a hire purchase facility from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking to invest in new equipment. The bottling line was imported from Italy and has the capacity to bottle 20,000 products an hour, doubling its previous production volume.

“As well as enjoying consistent and strong growth in the UK market, we’ve seen an increase in international demand for our ciders and we now export to more than 40 countries worldwide,” said Paddy Smith, company accountant at Westons said.

“International expansion is one of our key growth pillars and with the new equipment in place, it will provide us with the capacity needed to explore these exciting new markets.

“We’ve enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Lloyds Bank and the team fully understood what we’re trying to achieve. The recent funding has helped us make a giant leap in our production process, and we look forward to working with them again in the future as we continue to grow.”

Herefordshire-based Westons has an annual turnover in excess of £60m and employs 250 staff.

Richard Stevenson, senior regional manager at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, added: “Our latest food and drink report found that many businesses are expecting a growth in turnover in the next five years, with exporting playing a major role in that expansion.

“It’s encouraging to see an established local business like Westons Cider harnessing that demand and capitalising on new opportunities.”