A BUSINESS founder and director has spoken of his pride after his company has purchased a 130,000 square foot warehousing facility.

Ken Rattenbury, of Penarth, who owns Wild Water Group, South Wales’ largest temperature controlled storage and distribution company, purchased the facility which is on a 12-acre site in Aberbargoed. The site will potentially generate up to 120 new work positions across management, supervisory, warehousing staff and apprenticeship roles.

Speaking of the new facility and what it will bring, Mr Rattenbury said: “We are delighted that our vision of a ‘one stop shop’ for our customers is being realised and having a 24 hour, seven day a week co-packing facility in the heart of Wales, is a game changer for our industry. We can now offer our customers a streamlined product supply chain package by integrating their co-packing requirements with the group’s warehouse and transport subsidiary companies.”

“Logistically, this works out to be more cost effective overall, but also lowers the carbon footprint on the transportation of food products, which is something we are passionate about.”

Wild Water Group has a current annual turnover of £6m and Mr Rattenbury believes the company can increase that figure by a further £2m within 12 months and then reach £10m within two to three years.

The project is backed by a £1.7 million investment from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking and the Development Bank of Wales and has secured Welsh Government funding under the new economic contract.

Using a similar business model to the group’s other three sites in Merthyr Tydfil, Llanishen and Cardiff Bay, the first phase of development will be the conversion of available space into a large ambient open plan co-packing facility, which will be operational early November 2018 to meet festive season demand.

During the first quarter of 2019, Wild Water Group will move the entire Cardiff Bay co-packing facility to Aberbargoed, once freezer facilities, production lines and machinery are in place.

The company will then continue services such as frozen to frozen storage, bagging, over wrapping, sleeving and tray sealing, as well as the full spectrum of print labelling applications required under the Food Safety Technical (CCP) specifications.

Economy Secretary Ken Skates said: “This project will not only see a successful, growing Welsh business create an additional 120 jobs, it will also create a new strategic hub and facility for both large and small food and drink businesses across the region to pack or store products themselves. This could, in turn, open up new markets for those businesses – so I’m excited about what this means not only for Wild Water Group and Aberbargoed, but for the region more widely.”

“It shows that both our Economic and Food and Drink Action plans are delivering what we had hoped – jobs, prosperity and sustainable growth.”