Cold stor­age ex­pan­sion will cre­ate 150 new jobs

Western Mail - - BUSINESS WALES - SION BARRY Busi­ness editor sion.barry@waleson­

ACOLD stor­age com­pany is look­ing to ex­pand its busi­ness in an in­vest­ment cre­at­ing 150 new jobs.

The Wild Wa­ter Group is look­ing to con­vert a 130,000 sq ft fac­tory in Aber­bar­goed, lo­cated on a 12-acre site, into a one-stop-so­lu­tion for cold stor­age.

The com­pany an­tic­i­pates the new fa­cil­ity would cre­ate 150 new po­si­tions, over the next three years, from se­nior man­age­ment to ap­pren­tices, shop floor staff to ad­min­is­tra­tion roles.

The de­mand for cold stor­age has led the com­pany to look to ex­pand.

Wild Wa­ter Group was founded by Ken Rat­ten­bury, who is the managing di­rec­tor and sole share­holder along with his wife, al­ready has three sites in south Wales.

“It is fan­ta­sic for us to be go­ing for a fa­cil­ity in Aber­bar­goed area,” said Mr Rat­ten­bury.

“We al­ready have the fa­cil­ity in Merthyr, and we will look to work with other com­pa­nies in the area and re­duce ev­ery­ones car­boin foot­print.”

The Cardiff cold­store has 15,000 pal­let spa­ces, while the Merthyr cold­store has 4,000 pal­let spa­ces.

These two sites, Mr Rat­ten­bury said are home to the only two blast freeze fa­cil­i­ties in South Wales. And de­mand means the com­pany needs to ex­pand.

The comapny’s third site, in Llan­ishen, has an 50,000 sq ft of am­bi­ent stor­age, and 35,000 sq ft of ex­ter­nal, un­der­cover sor­age.

Un­til now the com­pany has been self funded, but with the new site Wild Wa­ter is get­ting back­ing from the De­vel­op­ment Bank of Wales and Lloyds Bank.

Nigel Payne, who joined the com­pany as a non ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, says he sees a huge op­por­tu­nity for a Welsh com­pany.

“The Aber­bar­goed site is a tem­plate for a north Wales fa­cil­ity,” he said.

“We are hav­ing a lot of dis­cus­sions al­ready in the north,”

Wild Wa­ter Group has a cur­rent an­nual turnover of £5m and Mr Rat­ten­bury be­lieves they can in­crease that fig­ure within 12 month by a £2m, and then reach £10m within five years.

The trans­port side of the busi­ness has seen the busi­nesses fleet in­crease from eight to 12.

An im­por­tant as­pect in the growth of the firm has been the abil­ity to pack­age prod­ucts, cre­at­ing a one-stop-shop for busi­nesses.

Mr Rat­ten­bury is keen to ex­plain the com­pany is just as happy to work with small busi­nesses look­ing to ex­port as they are with the big play­ers.

The com­pany is al­ready find­ing it­self un­able to cope with the de­mand, Mr Rat­ten­bury say­ing the busi­ness is forced to send tur­keys to cold­stores in Eng­land at Christ­mas.

Cur­rently from the Cardiff cold­store the firm packs con­tain­ers on be­half of cus­tomers for ship­ment, trucks them to Felixs­towe for sea ship­ment to des­ti­na­tions around the world, such as Ja­pan, Australia, and Spain.

Mr Rat­ten­bury re­marks there is a huge de­mand for lo­cal bread in Spain - “for their ba­con butties,” he says.

And an­other feather in the cap for the com­pany is that ex­port cheese to France.

For all the break­ing busi­ness news fol­low us on Twit­ter @

> The site of Wild Wa­ter’s new fa­cil­ity in Aber­bar­goed

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