Funding secured to build major vertical farm in London

The new investment will allow Harvest London to expand its current operations (Photo: Harvest London)
The new investment will allow Harvest London to expand its current operations (Photo: Harvest London)

An indoor farming company has secured an unknown amount of funding to develop a new 140,000sq ft vertical farm in south London.

Harvest London has raised the undisclosed amount of investment from Foresight Group to build the indoor farm near Croydon.

Founded in 2017 by Chris Davies and Matt Chlebek, the ag-tech firm has built two vertical farms so far, in Walthamstow and Leyton.

It has grown over 100 different crops using hydroponic vertical farming techniques, and partnered with brands including Pizza Pilgrims and Compass Group.

Foresight Group said expansion of Harvest London’s production capacity was driven by the "increasing need for locally grown produce".

The investment would allow Harvest London to expand its current operations, enabling it to supply a range of salads and herbs to customers in London and beyond.

The company currently operates two farms in East London, which has been producing crops since 2020.

It follows other investments by Foresight in greenhouses in the UK and a land-based sustainable aquaculture farm in Norway.

Chris Davies, founder of Harvest London, said the funding was "a sign that the vertical farming sector in the UK is maturing".

He added that the start-up wanted to make the UK "a world-leader in this exciting new industry."

"While you might not yet have tasted something grown in a vertical farm, in the future this type of produce is going to be on your menu, whether that’s from a supermarket, in prepared food, or eating out.

"Vertical farming is a technology that can complement British agriculture, helping us reduce our reliance on food imports, and give consumers fresher, more local ingredients."

Matt Hammond, partner at Foresight, added that the next phase of expansion would "positively impact job creation and stimulate the local economy.”

“Foresight is delighted to be working with Harvest London, a dynamic and growing company that will help the vital push towards a greener future for food production.

"This approach to farming will play a pivotal role in shaping a more sustainable future and meeting the country’s food needs."