A farming business is diversifying by tapping into a completely new revenue stream after investing £1.1m in a 32,000-bird unit for free-range egg production.
Run by husband and wife team Simon and Victoria Elwess, Manor Farm, based near Lincoln, has primarily been a cattle farm specialising in breeding pedigree Hereford cows since 2009.
After looking for opportunities to diversify the farming business, the couple have used the funding to invest in the new bird unit and a multi-tier laying system.
The project has created eight new full and part time job roles and an average daily production of 30,000 eggs.
The overall cost of the project was £1.1million, with HSBC UK providing the majority of the funding.
Following a successful application by the couple, the project was also supported by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, the Lindsey Action Zone Local Action Group (LAG) and the Rural Development Programme for England LEADER funding programme.
Victoria Elwess, joint owner at Manor Farm, explains: “Demand for free-range eggs has grown steadily in recent years, so we’re confident that the investment will provide a long-term, sustainable revenue stream for the business.”
Andy Hipwell, of HSBC UK, said British farming is vital to rural communities and the food production industry.
He added, however, that pressure on farmers and a volatile marketplace means many farms are having to diversify.
“By investing in free-range egg-production, Simon and Victoria and tapping into a growing market which will provide a more stable source of income for their wider farming business. We wish them the best of luck for their new venture,” he said.