Belford-based Coastal Grains increases capacity thanks to £750,000 grant

Coastal Grains has increased its storage capacity thanks to a £750,000 grant from a Government growth scheme.

Friday, 22nd July 2022, 10:32 am
Updated Friday, 22nd July 2022, 10:32 am

The Belford-based farming co-operative received the funding through the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) with support from property specialist George F White.

The co-operative has invested the funds in new equipment, technology and training ahead of the harvest season, securing a number of local jobs in the process.

A large proportion has been used to purchase new silos, increasing storage capacity to 135,000 tonnes, allowing grain from all 110 farms in the cooperative to be stored at a single site.

Sally Heath (GFW), Alan Wilkinson (Yorkshire Storage Systems ), Gary Grahamslaw (Coastal Grains Chairman), Hannah Wafer (GFW), Terence Pardoe (former CEO of Coastal Grains), Graeme Wyld (CEO of Coastal Grains), Jamie Oliver (GFW), Stephanie Linnell (GFW), Andrew Lee (MD of BDC Grain Handling Systems), Stephen Scott (McArthur Agriculture Grain Dryers).

This will relieve the need for third party storage, reducing costs and the environmental impact with less vehicle movement.

New conveyors, intake systems and a batch dryer to cope with specialist grains produced for key clients including McVitie’s and Grant’s whisky have also been introduced, as well as other works to improve operations.

Graeme Wyld, CEO at Coastal Grains, said: “Following this latest funding we’re now on phase 13 of expansion and it wouldn’t have been possible without the (George F White) team.

Farming makes up a large proportion of jobs in the county and we want to continue growing as long as it’s in the best interests of our members; future-proofing our operations, upskilling our workforce, supporting the local farming economy and securing local jobs.

"We’ve developed a national client base, with Northumberland grain used in products from best-selling biscuits to well-known whisky, flying the flag for produce grown in our region.”

George F White also supported with planning applications to gain consent for the new additions to the site.

Jamie Oliver, associate at George F White, said: “In recent years more businesses have been coming forward keen to tap into funding available, and by working closely with them, successful applications have driven £10m back into the North East economy."

Stephanie Linnell, partner at George F White, added: “Forward-thinking, growing businesses like Coastal Grains are brilliant to work with as they are incredibly innovative and consistently looking ahead at what the next big thing is, which is exciting to be part of and we can add a lot of value.

"This milestone funding win of £750,000 is a huge achievement for both teams and a credit to their hard work and dedication to their cooperative.”