A £6 million expansion at a fast-growing food distribution company will create 150 new jobs in a major boost to the economy of rural Gwynedd.
News of the investment was revealed during a visit to Harlech Foodservice by Liz Saville Roberts, MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd and her Senedd counterpart, Mabon ap Gwynfor. They were given a briefing and a guided tour of the firm’s headquarters near Criccieth by Managing Director David Cattrall and Joint Chairman Andrew Foskett.
Over the past three year sales have increased from £32 million to a record turnover of around £50 million, with profit at an all-time high of more than £2 million in the current year. One of the major reasons for the growth was a change of strategy that has seen Harlech Foodservice win a raft of public sector contracts in health and education, in addition to its core customer base in tourism and hospitality.
As well as expanding into the north west and the Midlands, the company has also opened a new depot in Merthyr Tydfil to cater for new clients in South Wales.
Managing director David Cattrall said: “We have squeezed as much space as we possibly can out of the existing facilities and what we now need to do is make the site bigger as part of our next phase of expansion.
“We’re expecting our turnover to double to around £100 million over the next five years and we’re building with that in mind.
“The expansion will happen over three phases costing a total of around £6 million – we will be gaining an extra 80 per cent in processing and storage capacity so it’s going to be a game changer for us.
“It’s going to enable us to reach farther afield in the whole of Wales go out into the Midlands and North West England, from our home base in Gwynedd.
“We’re having a record year for sales in the company’s history and a record year for profit even though we are reinvesting heavily in making the business fit for the future and making sure our prices are aggressively competitive.”
Joint chairman Andrew Foskett added: “This investment is a major vote of confidence in this site and wider Gwynedd. We’re a family-owned business and we are keen for the heart of the operation to remain located in this area.
“The upshot is that we’ll be creating 100 jobs at our headquarters site and 50 jobs elsewhere over the next three to five years.
“We’ve all had a tough time through the pandemic but these are really exciting times for Harlech Foodservice.
“The level of investment we’re putting in is unprecedented but it is absolutely essential so that we can continue growing and play our part in boosting the local economy.”