Double celebration for First Service Frozen Food

Bromsgrove’s First Service Frozen Foods is celebrating 10 years of trading later this month (27 March 2015).

The company is also celebrating their recent expansion having received a grant of £35,000 from Worcestershire Expansion Programme (WEP) in addition to their own investment of over £420,000.

The Worcestershire Expansion Programme, which is supported by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund and delivered locally by Worcestershire County Council on behalf of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, was put in place to enable local companies to realise their growth potential, strengthen their position in the market and lever in private investment, safeguard jobs and to increase productivity and growth.

The Bromsgrove-based food and drink specialist, which supplies food and drink to customers within a 50-mile radius, including Drayton Manor Theme Park, Severn Valley Railway, Twycross Zoo and Yorkshire Wildlife Park, has used the investment to purchase larger premises, a 4562sq/ft unit, enabling them to expand their storage of frozen food. This additional space will allow storage of more ice cream and other food products out of season to diversify their product range and maximise sale opportunities profitability.

Furthermore, the business is now able to fund energy efficient offices with the latest technology and heating and lighting options, such as solar panelling, with additional support being received from the Worcestershire.Business.Central’s Resource Efficiency programme.

This additional investment has secured the company’s future within the County whilst creating 2 new jobs and safeguarding an additional key position. The 10 year milestone is being marked with a celebration event on 27 March with customers and suppliers.

Mike Skitt, who is Director of First Service Frozen Food alongside Wayne Sambidge, said: “The Regional Growth Fund has really helped accelerate our move to larger premises. We have more than doubled our freezer capacity in September with the help of the RGF grant towards the cost of the cold store – a critical part of our wholesale business. We are now in a stronger position with our buying capacity with manufacturers and therefore able to gain the valuable extra 1 or 2% discount on purchasing larger orders.

“We have also had the confidence to restructure and have had a new Depot Manager position filled from the start of January. This will free both myself and my fellow director, Wayne, up to be out seeing existing customers and gaining new business to help achieve the growth forecast for 2015 and beyond. We are really grateful to all involved in the scheme.”

Gary Woodman, Executive Director of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “I am delighted that First Service Frozen Food has expanded and it is great to hear the support that has been provided through the Worcestershire Expansion Programme. Congratulations on reaching this milestone of 10 years of successful trading within Worcestershire and I am glad that the extra investment has secured the company’s future within the County.”

Simon Geraghty, Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Skills and Infrastructure, added: “This is a great example of the Worcestershire Expansion Programme in action, supporting the growth of businesses in the county. It is part of our wider Open For Business priority to support the local economy and create new jobs. It is pleasing to see the benefits the programme’s funding has brought to First Service Frozen Food at such a key moment for the company.”

The Worcestershire Expansion Programme overall has seen £2,265,892 invested levering £13,789,205 from the private sector. The programme will safeguard 103 existing jobs and created 240 new positions.

For further information on how other businesses benefitted from the Worcestershire Expansion Programme, please visit www.business-central.co.uk/wep