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Ice cream manufacturer awarded grant funding for expansion

Craven business Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream has been awarded grant funding to help them achieve their plans to grow the company.

Ice cream man

Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream, a small family business based on a working farm in Bolton Abbey, manufactures, wholesales and retails its own range of premium ice creams for a wide range of customers, including the NHS, National Trust, Tesco and The Co-operative, as well as for their own parlour and fleet of 50 ice cream vans. 

The business, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, is planning to expand its manufacturing facility and purchase new equipment including a new fruit feeder, chiller and an additional pasteuriser. This investment will lead to the creation of new permanent jobs in management, production and delivery roles later in the year.  

The business is one of a growing number of businesses in Craven to benefit from the assistance of Craven District Council's SME Growth Manager, Mark Delves.  

Mark, whose role is to help existing businesses find the support they need to help them grow, referred Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream to the Leeds City Region Business Growth Programme which provides capital grants to businesses with ambitions to grow.

Hamish Munro, Director for Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream said: "We very much appreciate the assistance provided by the council via their SME Growth Manager, which will enable us to increase our production capacity and recruit the required staff to deliver future business growth.

"We knew that it was time to invest in the manufacturing facility, but we needed additional funds to enable us to do this in the timeframe and to the scope required. Mark came to visit us and went through the different options available for our industry and in our area, and selected the grant which seemed the best match for the business.

"We worked on our application, supported by Mark who guided us through the process, and we were delighted to find out only a short time later that our application had been successful.  For a small business like ours, support like this makes a huge difference in giving us the extra boost to help us achieve our goals.

"Small businesses like ours don't have consultants or experts in-house to help us with complex application processes, and with only a small team we don't have the time to trawl through acres of unfamiliar paperwork trying to understand what we need to do, so this process was a breath of fresh air, and definitely worth the time we invested in it!"

Councillor Myers, the Council's Lead Member for Enterprising Craven, said: "We are delighted that we were able to help Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream, it is always fantastic to hear of local businesses growing and creating jobs.  Helping businesses grow and prosper is a key priority for the council and is why we are investing in ensuring that they have access to, and are able to benefit from whatever support is available for businesses here in Craven."

Mark Delves said: "I'm pleased to see the results of this work for Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream. I would encourage other Craven based businesses to follow their example and investigate the range of business support currently available including capital grant funding and funding for staff training."    

When setting its budget in February, the Council agreed to fund the SME Growth Manager role for two years, until 2018. The SME Growth Manager, which is also part-funded by the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, is part of the region's business growth service. Launched in 2015, the service was created to help businesses explore and identify the support that is right for them, from finding finance, developing the skills of their workforce, exporting to boosting productivity and reducing energy costs.

Other local businesses that are also looking to grow can contact Mark by emailing the Council's economic development team at edu@cravendc.gov.uk