A family-owned and run Leicestershire farming business is diversifying with a £3.5 million investment in a new anareobic digester (AD) plant with backing from Yorkshire Bank.
AC Shropshire Ltd has built the facility at its pig farm in Huncote after securing funding from Yorkshire Bank’s Business and Private Banking Centre in Leicester.
The Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit is being fed with a mixture of pig slurry from the farm and food waste from across the region to create energy to power the farm and also to be sold on to Western Power.
Two tanks have been installed at the 900 acre farm and AC Shropshire is aiming to produce up to 1.2 megawatts of power every hour.
The third-generation company, which employs around 50 people, specialises in livestock and arable farming.
Randall Boddy, Managing Director of AC Shropshire, said the family has been working on the project for around 18 months and is expecting to recoup the investment within ten years.
Randall said: “The opening of the plant is significant in the history of the business and we’re delighted it is now up and running.
“The unit allows us to use all our pig slurry waste and to mix it with large amounts of food waste sourced from across the area and turn it into energy to power the farm, along with hundreds of homes.
“We’ll be using around a sixth of the energy produced on-site and the rest will be outsourced and used to power around 700 homes a day.”
AC Shropshire has banked with Yorkshire Bank for around 15 years and Randall said they were the first point of call to help finance the project.
He said: “We’ve worked with Yorkshire Bank for a while now and went straight to the Bank when we were looking to get the project off the ground.
“It’s fantastic the plant is now up and running and generating vast amounts of power out of waste. The Bank’s support has been central to us completing the project.”
Dave Simpson, Head of Yorkshire Bank’s Business & Private Banking Centre in Leicester, said AD technology continues to be a growing market that the Bank is supporting, amongst other agricultural businesses.
Dave said: “AC Shropshire is a very healthy business and Randall and the family have worked hard to complete this project.
“The plant represents a big investment for the company and will not only pave the way for future growth of the business but will also reduce its carbon footprint.
“Yorkshire Bank has helped finance a growing number of AD units recently and demonstrates that we are actively looking to support well-run businesses with investment.”
The deal was completed with technical support by project manager Peter Watson from the Watson Whittaker Partnership.