14th November 2012
A LEADING distributor has chosen East Yorkshire to base its first UK factory and significantly expand its business.
At a time when major companies have left the region, Silbury, which packages and distributes a range of oils and fats, among other items, has opened its first UK factory in Brough to grow the company and increase market share.
The firm has moved into premises in Hytec Way, next to air brake system manufacturers TractAir Ltd.
Gary Lewis, director of oils and fats at Silbury – which has a range of customers, including food manufacturers and a number of restaurants chains, such as Pizza Hut – said this was an ideal place to grow the business.
Mr Lewis said: “We chose Brough to establish our first UK factory due to its location close to the port of Hull, while giving us a less industrial setting. While other parts of the country offer access to ports, the Hull area provides experienced food personnel and excellent road access into the heart of the UK, across to Liverpool for Ireland and to the Continent.”
Silbury, which is also a leading tomato ingredient importer and supplier, will focus on the distribution of oils and fats at its new Brough site.
With the addition of the new factory, the company, which last year had an annual turnover of £28m, is now looking to double that figure.
Mr Lewis said: “We are looking to grow the annual turnover significantly. It is achievable to double it.
“The food industry is a strong sector and we are dealing with high commodities, so the turnover can go up quite significantly.
“This move is part of a wider plan. It has taken three to four months to get to where we are now and we really like this area for business.”
The expanding business, which employs five people at its Brough factory, has recruited locally and said it will continue to do so.
The firm wants to treble the number of staff it employs at the Brough site in order to give it more flexibility.
Mr Lewis said: “We like to recruit locally and will increase staff as the business grows.
“One of the reasons we wanted to come to Hull was because there was the workforce available.
“We had a good response from the right people, so we had the choice.”
The company, which is a supplier to leading food manufacturers, bakery businesses and food service providers, has spent a significant sum of money on the investment in its Brough factory, owned by TractAir.
Mr Lewis said: “We spent more than a year looking for the right location and took time to pick the right place.
“We spent money on the quality. Everything is new and it is built to be able to move or be added to.”
The investment in the Brough factory has come at a time when other business have decided to leave the area.
But Mr Lewis said controlling costs and taking time to get the business plan right has helped Silbury.
He said: “By keeping things small, you can grow.
“We have been here for four months and we’re quite surprised how much business we’ve had.
“We are very pleased and everything is focused on getting it right.”
The deal was overseen by Richard Topham, of commercial property agent Topham Larard.