Successful Devon pet food business stays local with new factory development

Peter Alderson of Devon Contractors Ltd and Gerard Lovell, Joint MD of Forthglade

Posted on: 16 August 2017

An expanding Devon business is relocating to the Okehampton East Business Park to achieve its plans for growth.

Forthglade, the Devon based natural pet food manufacturer established in Winkleigh over 46 years ago, has completed the purchase of two plots at the business park and will be developing a new manufacturing facility at the site.

The new factory is needed in order to increase production of its award-winning natural pet food, to boost its exports and fulfill its ambition to become one of the UK’s leading producers of 100% natural pet food.

The development which is underway by Devon Contractors Ltd, is due for completion in the Autumn of 2018. The move helps to retain Forthglade’s 80 jobs in the local area and create 25 new jobs over the next few years.

Gerard Lovell and Bo the Labrador

Gerard Lovell, Joint MD of Forthglade, said: “We were adamant to keep the business in Devon and the Okehampton site is just ideal for us. The last few years have been a hugely busy time and without this move the business simply couldn’t continue to flourish. The new site will enable us to retain our fantastic team and increase our production capacity of pet food by 50%, whilst having our entire production line under one roof will significantly improve our efficiency”.

Councillor Stuart Barker

Councillor Stuart Barker, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills, said: “Forthglade has strong Devon roots and is proud to be a UK manufacturer based in the county. By moving just a few miles from their original HQ, we’ve been able to support the company’s ambition to remain in Devon by having land available which makes sure they can continue to grow here – helping safeguard existing local jobs and creating new full time positions.”

Councillor Kevin Ball

Councillor Kevin Ball, Devon County Councillor for Okehampton Rural, said: “I’m delighted a company the size of Forthglade has chosen to relocate onto the new business park. It means retention of the current Devon jobs but, more importantly, the opportunity for local people to gain employment through the expansion.”

Forthglade’s relocation has been part-funded by a £200,000 grant from the South West Growth Fund – an £8.5 million programme which aims to stimulate capital investment in order to create new jobs in Devon and other counties in the South West. The grant funding comes from the UK Government’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) under the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) and the programme is managed by Plymouth University and SWMAS Limited in partnership with South West Water.

The purchase by Forthglade follows the recent announcement of the sale of the first plot at the business park to the Okehampton Skills and Sports Trust. Negotiations are continuing on four other plots at the site and two plots will be advertised shortly.

Devon County Council made a £2 million investment to develop the 20-acre employment site, which is located to the east of the town. It is earmarked as the main employment growth area for the town over the next five years, with the potential to support over 300 jobs.

All plots are being sold freehold with each purchaser securing their own detailed planning consent within the plots. For an informal discussion and to register interest, please contact Diane Rider at NPS SW Ltd on 01392 351209 / Diane.Rider@nps.co.uk.

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