06 March 2015 | Online since 2003

26 June 2014|News

Work starts on site as Keelham Farm Shop sets the foundations for Skipton

Work has now begun on Gargrave Road, Skipton for Keelham Farm Shop’s second site which will see the award-winning business extend its operation to include a cookery school and café for the first time. Shipley-based Stainforth Construction Ltd has been contracted to carry out the six-month build programme which will be completed this year and open to the public in January 2015.

The Bradford-based family-run business, which secured planning permission in December 2013, recently secured £210,000 funding from North Yorkshire LEP and is forging ahead with plans for the new shop, having already secured the backing of NatWest. Keelham Farm Shop, Skipton is part of a longer-term plan to expand the business to other locations in Yorkshire.

The £4 million Skipton development will create 67 new jobs, 21 of which are through the expansion of the food preparation side of the business using capital from the Business Grant Programme, which is funded by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund and delivered by North Yorkshire LEP, which will help the company to expand its range of own-brand products.

Keelham Farm Shop, Skipton will be a development of the successful business model evolved by third generation Robertshaws, siblings Victoria and James, that puts affordable, great-tasting food at its heart. The original Thornton site is supplied by over 400 local farmers and producers and sells quality meat sourced weekly from local auction marts, as well as lambs from its family-run farm in Cowling. The team will actively be searching for new suppliers that are local to Skipton, as 75% of what Keelham sells is fresh produce, in contrast with most supermarkets which sell 25% fresh food.

Far more than a shop, Keelham’s ethical ethos directs an ambitious programme of events and activities designed to encourage the public to eat healthily and to produce food sustainably. The pioneering retail venue will feature a number of innovations including a ‘living wall’ of herbs and an activity barn, alongside the shop’s fresh food, bakery, delicatessen and long-established butchery offering, making Keelham Farm Shop, Skipton a visitor destination in its own right.

The contractors have undertaken remediation work at the site – which was previously a garage – excavating the soil ready for the shop retrofit. The existing framework will provide a skeleton for the new shop, which will be completely repurposed and will include a number of eco-friendly elements such as photovoltaic solar panels and a sedum roof.

Comments Victoria Robertshaw: “The team have been working for a long time on the detailed plans for Skipton and it’s fantastic finally to see the spade hit the ground. We’ve had so much support from the local community, as well as farmers and producers here, who can’t wait to have a Keelham right on their doorstep. We had hoped to have the shop open by Christmas, but the build schedule was put back until we had the final funding in place. We took the decision not to rush the opening, but to focus on getting the build and landscaping finished by December – and then unveil our new shop and new offering to the public in the New Year. This allows us to train the Skipton team in our Thornton shop over Christmas – our busiest period – offering the perfect opportunity to embed the new team in the Keelham way, developing their product knowledge and customer service skills.

“We’ve earmarked the 15th January as our official opening date as it’s the anniversary of the death of our dad who passed away unexpectedly, and who founded the farm shop back in the early seventies. He always felt that he had created a model which could be rolled out across the region – and it is important for us to see his legacy come to life on this day.”

Gary Smith, Relationship Director at NatWest, said: "I was delighted to support Keelham Farm Shop and the development of the second site. It's a great business that supports local farmers and other enterprises in the region, and I wish the business every success for the future."



No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.


27 February 2015
Commercial Support Assistant
An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Commercial Support Assistant to join our team at Cranswick. The successful candidate...

24 February 2015
Mobile Technician / HGV - Trailer Engineer
HGV, Trailers ( single / double deck) , Off-highway, military, construction, MOD, agriculture machinery maintenance repair or...

4 March 2015
Customer Service & Admin Support
Administration and Customer Service Support required by small on farm dairy business. Duties to include customer liaison and ...

4 March 2015
Digger Drivers (2)
Solar farm jobs are fixed in terms of time with a lot of hours available for those who are looking to work them, including we...

17 February 2015
Apprentice Cake Baker and Decorator
Shedfield House Dairy. This is a really exciting opportunity for someone passionate about baking to work for an expanding com...

Top stories you may have missed
2 February 2015 | Arable
Is EU membership damaging UK farming?

Is EU membership damaging UK farming?

Membership of the EU is damaging the British farming industry, according to...

29 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
Drones 'rapidly changing' agriculture

Drones 'rapidly changing' agriculture

BASIS has launched an accreditation for pilots of Unmanned Aerial Systems (...

23 January 2015 | Arable
UK wheat yields have potential to double

UK wheat yields have potential to double

UK wheat yields have theoretical potential to more than double over the nex...

23 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
Crowds flock to LAMMA 2015

Crowds flock to LAMMA 2015

Britain’s farmers flocked to Peterborough for the first day of LAMMA’15 to ...

22 January 2015 | Cattle
Don't blame supermarkets for milk crisis...

Don't blame supermarkets for milk crisis...

The crisis in the dairy industry is not the fault of supermarkets, accordin...

16 January 2015 | CLA
Families affected by HS2 face 'major wor...

Families affected by HS2 face 'major wor...

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer visited three rural businesses in Cheshi...

16 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
John Deere unveil new 6R tractor range

John Deere unveil new 6R tractor range

Spearheading the John Deere range of mid-size tractors from Mannheim, the n...

14 January 2015 | Animal Health
Monthly TB checks more effective than ba...

Monthly TB checks more effective than ba...

Regular testing for bovine TB could significantly reduce the number of infe...

12 January 2015 | News
Government regulations hampering UK agri...

Government regulations hampering UK agri...

Single-issue policy-making threatens to hamper, not help, the progress of U...

8 January 2015 | Cattle
2015: The year ahead for the beef market

2015: The year ahead for the beef market

2014 has been a “rocky old year” for the beef industry but better prices ar...