Appley Orchard Farm moves into poultry business

A farm near Wellington in Somerset is to begin rearing free-range broiler chickens.

Appley Orchard Farm, secured a £205,000 finance package from HSBC to help it build its first chicken shed, and has won a contract to rear chickens for Hook 2 Sisters.

It currently supplies dry woodchip to the renewable energy industry.

The funding will help pay for the construction of the shed, which will house 14,000 chickens, including the steel frame, all roofing and cladding, the concrete foundations and the shed’s insulation. Sam and Rose Owen, who own the farm, will use their own biomass boilers to heat the sheds. Once fully operational, Appley Orchard Farm will rear around 224,000 chickens a year.

Rose Owen, co-owner of Appley Orchard Farm, said: “We’re hoping the first shed will be fully operational by early 2017, before moving quickly onto the build of the second and third sheds. We’re already discussing further financial support with HSBC so that we can have all three sheds up and running in around 12 months’ time.”

Stephen Hancock, HSBC’s area director for Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, added: “HSBC was the first bank to set up a dedicated agriculture team 40 years ago, so we were able to use this experience to provide a bespoke finance package which will help Sam and Rose realise their ambitions and enter a new market for the first time.”

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