Academy Leasing, the specialist asset financier and part of 1pm Group, has supported a Wales-based cheese manufacturer to secure a major supermarket contract.

Academy has enabled them to invest in a vital piece of specialist equipment through the provision of a £77,000 asset finance facility.

The family-owned business Blaenafon of Cheddar was set up by husband and wife team, Gerry Woodhouse and Susan Fiander-Woodhouse.

The business has increased awareness of its cheeses through its presence at major events and festivals, and in doing so achieved coverage in the media worldwide.

As Blaenafon of Cheddar secured larger contracts and scaled up their business, they found they needed to invest in new machinery to keep up with the growing demand.

Where previously the business had waxed all cheeses by hand, the financing of a vital piece of equipment which automatically wax-coats the cheese was essential if they were to achieve their growth aspirations. The equipment supplied by Vantage House will allow for a faster and more efficient production process.

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Susan Fiander-Woodhouse, director at Blaenafon of Cheddar, said: “Gaining access to the funding and then the equipment was really smooth and easy. It has meant that we can protect our cash flow, managing the cost of this vital equipment and spreading the cost over an agreed period of time. The fast turnaround has meant that we could quickly adapt our existing production process and fulfil our new contract on time.”

Carol Roberts, head of asset at 1pm, added: “Asset finance can take the stress out of upscaling a business and this equipment will help them fulfil their new contracts, improve their production processes and enable them to grow its product range.”

Academy Leasing

Academy Leasing provides asset finance to lease business equipment to the UK small business sector, including access to invoice finance, commercial loans and vehicle finance.

1pm plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

On its website, the cheesemonger says: The Blaenafon Cheddar Company is a family business based in a shop on Broad Street in the Welsh industrial town of Blaenavon – a World Heritage Site.

“The labels on the company’s cheeses depict scenes from the town’s industrial past, but its connections with the town’s rich history don’t stop there: its Pwll Mawr Cheddar is matured 300ft below ground at the bottom of a mine shaft at Big Pit mining museum.

“This Cheddar has won the bronze medal at the prestigious British Cheese Awards.”