APS Group, the UK’s largest tomato grower, has secured funding from the Business Growth Fund (BGF) to support its continued expansion, with plans to build a new glasshouse at Hale Common near Arreton.
APS currently manages 56 hectares of glasshouses and operates several packhouses across sites in Alderley Edge, Middlewich, Kent, West Sussex, Teesside, East Yorkshire and here on the Isle of Wight. More than 700 people are employed across the group which produces 500million tomatoes per year using the best traditional and modern growing techniques to grow a range of high quality tomato varieties in the most environmentally friendly way possible.
The funding will see the expansion of the former Wight Salads site off the main Sandown to Newport road – the organic growing area will be increased and a new glasshouse erected.
Mark Pearson, CEO of APS Group said:
“During the past decade we have invested heavily into our greenhouse infrastructure, combined heat and power plants and packhouse automation. This has been well received by our customers and there is an opportunity to further expand our capacity and increase supply whilst retaining our quality focus.
“BGF has been flexible in its approach to providing this funding. The investment allows us to implement our growth projects at the same time as keeping control of the business. As a family business that was important to us, and we are looking forward to working with the BGF team.”
The investment into APS Group, which makes BGF a minority partner in the business, has been led by BGF’s Matt Widdall, Rhys Davenport and Paul Dolyniuk.
BGF’s Matt Widdall, who will join the board of APS Group, said:
“The Pearson family has a passion for growing quality produce and providing a first-class service to its customers, which has served the business well for close to 70 years. We are delighted to be supporting their continued growth with this funding, backing another forward thinking and innovative family business in the UK.”