Meatier future for South Yorkshire manufacturer

Left to right: John Hearsey, Managing Director of Bankwood Meats with David Ward, Portfolio Manager at Finance Yorkshire

A new Fulton Boiler purchased with a £20,000 business loan from Finance Yorkshire has helped a Doncaster meat manufacturer increase its output and improve its environmental impact.

Bankwood Meats has been trading on Thorne Enterprise Park since November 2004 and purchases, cooks, slices and packs turkey crowns.

It supplies major wholesale and food service clients, but in July Managing Directors John Hearsey and Andrew Bennett faced a major problem.

John said: “The boiler we used for cooking the turkey broke down and was not economical to repair. We lost around £6,500 worth of meat that we just had to throw away.

“We brought in a smaller rented boiler as a quick-fix solution to keep production going, but continuing with this put the future of the business in jeopardy.”

John said the company, which has 15 employees, was recommended to Finance Yorkshire’s predecessor, South Yorkshire Investment Fund (SYIF), by their accountants Smith Craven. The company initially received investments to help establish the firm and then to help the business against the bird flu epidemic.

John said: “We have a good relationship and have continued to turn to Finance Yorkshire because of their amiable approach and knowledge.”

John also said working with Finance Yorkshire Portfolio Manager, David Ward, over the years has meant they have been able to develop a good working relationship.

“David comes down to the factory and we go over business goals and aspirations and our finances.”

Finance Yorkshire’s latest business loan meant Bankwood Meats was able to update its old boiler model and change from electric to gas, which is more economical to run.

“The new boiler saves us more than £3,000 per annum compared to the old model and takes around an hour less to cook 1.5 tonnes of meat, which is around 350 turkey breasts.” added John.

A new sales executive has now also been recruited to help the company reach larger wholesalers and supermarkets.

David added: “It has been great working with Bankwood Meats, as we have been able to watch the business grow and help protect its future.

“We were delighted to invest in the new boiler to help make the company more efficient and eco-friendly and we hope John and the team continue to experience success.”

Finance Yorkshire provides seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2m to help a range of small and medium sized businesses to meet their funding requirements for growth and development.

The project is supported financially by the European Union. It has attracted £30million investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme, £15million from Yorkshire Forward’s Single Programme, and £45million match funding from the European Investment Bank.

For more information about Finance Yorkshire, please visit or ring 0845 649 0000.

Note: this news article is from Finance Yorkshire’s previous fund. Read more about Finance Yorkshire