Yaregrain storage facility at Cantley boosted by £200,000 investment

PUBLISHED: 07:41 15 December 2017 | UPDATED: 07:41 15 December 2017

Yaregrain, near Cantley.  Picture: James Bass

Yaregrain, near Cantley. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2014

A £200,000 investment in specialist equipment has boosted the grain storage and handling facility at Yaregrain, whose directors have launched its next £400,000 expansion phase.

Although the farmer-owned business at Cantley lost £96,000 in the year to June 30, this was attributed to the dry 2016 harvest. Income for handling and drying grain was reduced to £20,050 compared to more than £63,000 the previous year.

New shares were sold during the year and Yaregrain repaid more than £67,000 of bank borrowings. It also invested more than £205,000 in additional equipment.

Chairman Nick Hood said the directors wanted to invest in a further 4,000 tonnes of storage, which would be funded by raising £400,000 in shares from new or existing members.

READ MORE: Yaregrain’s new membership offer aims to generate £400,000 of expansion capital

Mr Hood, who farms at Woodbastwick, added: “Uniquely this facility gives farmers total control over the timing of marketing but importantly harvest access and reduced drying and processing costs.

“The next phase will strengthen the financial performance with minimal incremental overhead, improve service to members and increase commercial income opportunities with distressed grains and seeds,” he said.

A further investment in capacity in the old barn, which was completed during the year, was now full to capacity and holding 4,000 tonnes of 2017 grain.

In the annual report, retiring founder director Charles Bracey was thanked for his efforts and expertise in completing the critical third-phase of the expansion programme, which included the installation of high-speed colour sorters and other sophisticated handling equipment.

The £1.9m advanced processing unit (APU), which was officially opened by Lord Richard Dannatt, also attracted about £760,000 of grant funding from Defra. Yaregrain has total assets of £2.9m.

Shareholders will be briefed about the company’s performance at the eighth annual meeting at Cantley on Monday, December 18.

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