Pets Choice embarks on ambitious growth plan

Blackburn-based Pets Choice looks to recruit 50 new employees following significant expansion.

Pets Choice LR (2)Pets Choice, a Lancashire Business View Hot 100 company, manufacturers pet food under well-known brands such as Webbox and Davies.

The company previously operated out of two sites, a mile and a half apart. When an adjacent property became available to purchase, managing director John Walgate saw the opportunity to expand the company further.

He said: “When the opportunity arose to buy new premises across the road from our Lower Philips Road site, we knew it would it was something we couldn’t pass up. Now all our staff are in close proximity to one another so they can work much more efficiently. Plus the new factory is much larger than our previous premises so we’ll also have the capacity we need to expand the company.”

John turned to Andy Kay and Simon Howard at NatWest for financial backing and together they came up with a funding plan, backed by the government’s Funding for Lending Scheme. The funds from NatWest have helped support the businesses growth with the purchase of a larger factory space, giving the company the capacity to increase production of existing products, as well as widening the product lines.

The expansion will help drive the company forward with a forecast of a 50% increase in turnover over the next three years. In addition, this growth is expected to result in the recruitment of over 50 new team members. Over the next five years, the company plans to develop the business further by investing £5m into new machinery.

Simon Howard of NatWest said: “We were able to offer Pets Choice a reduced rate loan of £2.2m with the Funding for Lending Scheme. We share the ambitions of the management team  and this investment will help the business to improve its manufacturing operations  giving them stronger foundations to expand further going forward. It’s been great working with John and his team to help support a well known company in the area.” Pets Choice was established in 1980 following the amalgamation of several national pet businesses. The company has seen substantial growth since then and is one of the largest employers in Blackburn as well as having a strong client base which includes the likes of Asda and Morrisons.