Somerset bottling firm Cheddar Water has invested £500,000 to boost production and launch a new range of biodegradable bottled water.
Family-run Cheddar Water secured finance from HSBC UK to become the first company in the UK to fill 100% biodegradable maize-starch bottles with organically sourced spring water.
The funding has also been used to replace and upgrade its existing glass bottling line, which will boost the firm’s capacity to fill glass and aluminium bottles from 800 per hour, to 8,000 per hour.
The investment through HSBC UK, supported by a grant from the Rural Development Programme for England, will enable the business to meet growing demand for plastic-free and glass bottles in the UK and overseas. The investment is predicted to increase turnover by 20% and has created two new jobs.
The Urch family has been bottling organic spring water sourced from caves and aquifers under the Mendip Hills next to Cheddar Gorge since 2002 and set up Cheddar Water two years later. The business now fills around three million plastic and glass water bottles a year for shops, wholesalers and restaurants in the UK. Cheddar Water also produces bespoke-labelled water bottles, which are exported to businesses across Europe.
David Urch, co-owner of Cheddar Water, said, “The need for plastic-free alternatives has risen sharply over the last year & as a forward-thinking business, we were keen to make sure our company reflected the growing demand for these products. Our HSBC UK relationships manager, Matt Staite, has been incredibly supportive throughout the process, offering an exceptional understanding of how our business can diversify.”