KK Fine Foods is creating 90 new jobs on Deeside Enterprise Zone in its largest investment to date, with support from the Welsh Government and Finance Wales.
The £4.2million investment is creating an additional 10,000 sq ft of manufacturing space and funding the purchase of new equipment that will increase capacity to produce more than £30m worth of frozen food annually.
The funding package – which includes a £720,000 grant from the Welsh Government’s Economic Growth Fund and a £1.2 million mezzanine investment from Finance Wales – will be announced today (Friday 14 November) by Economy Minister Edwina Hart during a visit to the company.
The Minister said:
“This is a significant expansion project and I am delighted that funding support is helping KK Fine Foods expand into new markets and take advantage of emerging market opportunities. The Welsh Government has supported a number of expansions at KK Foods and I welcome this latest important investment that will create more jobs on Deeside Enterprise Zone.
“This is also an excellent example of the Welsh Government and Finance Wales working together to come up with a package of finance to support growth and create jobs and illustrates clearly how important access to finance is for business growth.”
The award-winning family business manufactures high-quality frozen ready meals , supplying blue chip clients such as Marstons, Greene King and JD Wetherspoon. It also supplies well-known wholesalers like the Brakes Group and Bidvest Group.
In recent years KK has been selling frozen Christmas meals to supermarket chains like Iceland and Aldi and growth in this market has fuelled their expansion.
Chief Executive and founder Leyla Edwards explained:
“We’d intended to increase our capacity to over £30million in the next three to four years to allow us to enter new markets, but the success of our seasonal products, as well as the continued sales growth in our existing client base, meant we’ve brought forward our expansion plans to meet this demand.
“ Having successfully secured Welsh Government grants in the past, we knew they would be open to backing our current plans.
“Officials introduced us to Finance Wales who structured a flexible mezzanine loan package to help make up the rest of the capital we required. This is our biggest investment in the business to date and enables us to take full advantage of the growing demand for our high-quality frozen foods.”
KK has grown consistently since it was established over 25 years ago, with turnover reaching £18 million at the end of last year.
Finance Wales Investment Executive Rhodri Evans worked with the Finance team at KK, led by Dr Graham Jackson, to structure the investment.
Rhodri Evans said: “KK Fine Foods is a real North Wales success story and has built up a strong reputation in food manufacturing as well as an excellent customer base. This latest expansion will strengthen its position as a major UK frozen food manufacturer.
“Our investment complemented the grant from the Welsh Government grant and we ensured the repayment profile suited the company’s plans and we were also able to offer an interest rate reduction as they’re located on an Enterprise Zone.”