Northampton's Houghton's Hams expand again with NatWest support

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Northampton's Houghton's Hams expand again with NatWest support

Family firm Houghton Hams Ltd have expanded their Moulton Park premises and invested in new machinery thanks to the agreement of new funding with their banking partners NatWest and the asset finance provider Lombard.

Houghton Hams is a family run business that specialises in bringing the best British Pork from regional farms to food companies and retailers. The business was formed in 1983 by Nigel and Jo Wagstaff using the old ham cure that had previously been used by Nigel's former cooked meat employers. In 1989 they expanded by purchasing a new double building adjacent to their existing site and added to their presence at Moulton Park in 2008 by opening a new low risk unit consisting of butchery, curing, bagging and packing, chilling and freezing facilities.

Today they produce a wide range of pork based products that are sold to food companies and retailers. Where possible they always look to work closely with pig producers, retailers and food service companies in England & Wales to improve the quality and supply of products across the UK. Part of the reason behind the company's latest expansion is because this year they have been successful in obtaining Red Tractor status for their products. The Red Tractor scheme is the public face of food assurance. The scheme verifies that farmers are supplying companies and retailers with products that meet good agricultural standards.

NatWest has utilised funding through the European Investment Bank to provide a discounted loan for the expansion. Lombard has provided the new machinery under lease agreements, providing the business with access to the new machines without eating into their cash reserves.

Speaking about their latest expansion, Nigel Wagstaff, director of Houghton Hams said: "We have a very clear proposition that more and more customers like - the supply of the best possible pork products at reasonable costs. The increasing demand for our products mean we need to again expand our premises. This will be the fourth time we have expanded here at Moulton Park. We like the location, it works well for us and is handily placed for us to easily supply our customers across the entire country. The new machinery we have invested in helps us to increase our production capacity and improves our production turnaround times as well, making us even more efficient."

Robert Davey, senior relationship manager, commercial banking at NatWest in Northampton pulled together the funding package. "Houghton Hams is a prime example of a well run modern small business that continues to prosper through a clear understanding of their market with a product range that fulfils customer demand. This latest expansion bodes well for their future growth potential by providing both the physical space and modern facilities to meet the plans the business has in the medium term."

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