From left to right:

Mike Rattenbury – Commercial Director & Legal Counsel
(Wild Water Group)
Mike Owen – Group Investment Director (Development Bank of Wales)
Ken Rattenbury – Managing Director (Wild Water Group)
Will Rattenbury – Warehouse Manager (Wild Water Group)
Nigel Payne – Non-executive director (Wild Water Group)

 

Aberbargoed Cold Storage Facility nears completion

The renovation to Wild Water Group’s 130 000 sq. ft cold storage and distribution facility in Aberbargoed is nearing completion and operational plans are in place to be fully functional by the fourth quarter of 2019.

The project, which is backed by investment from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, Development Bank of Wales and Grant Funding Support from Welsh Government, was initiated in October 2018 as part of the Group’s strategic expansion plan.

To observe the current progress, Wild Water Group were pleased to host Development Bank of Wales Investment Director, Mr. Mike Owen, on an operational tour of the final phase of building construction

This phase includes the heavy groundwork of the ‘goods inwards’ loading bays and final electrical installation checks to the new cold stores and blast freezing chambers, which aim to be completely cold drawn by September 2019.

Renovation Progress

Despite some early first phase teething problems, Ken Rattenbury, founder and Managing Director of the Wild Water Group is extremely pleased with the current progress.

“This was an ambitious project within our time constraints”, says Ken, “but we are now well on track to complete our vision of a 24/7 cold storage and co-packing facility for our customers in the heart of Wales.

“This facility now pushes us over 250 000 sq. ft of temperature controlled storage facilities across our 3 sites making us the largest in the region. Our renovation efforts have almost doubled the value of this site and we will definitely use this exercise as a blueprint for our further expansion projects”, he adds.

Jake Rattenbury, Group Operations director for Wild Water Group says,

“Aberbargoed will relieve some of the lack of storage space in South Wales and due to its excellent geographic location, will act as a strategic logistics hub to both large and small Welsh Food and Drink producers.

“With renovations almost complete we can also add this facility to our import/export platform with GAC Group, to help facilitate Welsh food industry export initiatives to international markets. Earlier this year we successfully helped Calon Wen, the much-loved dairy farmers co-operative, with its first export order of organic products to Qatar.”

High and Low Care Co-Packing Facility

Once the facility is fully operational, there will be an emphasis on developing the co-packing operations and Wild Water Group will focus its marketing efforts on securing a number of mid-sized food producers who require a long-term co-packing partner.

Jane Bowen-Davies, who heads up Wild Water Co-Packing says, “A lot of thought has gone into the renovations so as to provide a streamlined process for our customers – from loading bays through to co-packing to the cold storage and tempering facilities and then out.”

“We will offer services such as frozen to frozen storage, bagging, overwrapping, ‘sleeving’ and tray sealing, as well as the full spectrum of print labeling applications required under the Food Safety Technical specifications”, says Jane.

Recruitment Drive

Having secured additional Welsh Government funding under the new economic contract to fulfill work placements across management, supervisory, warehousing staff and apprenticeship roles, Wild Water will soon begin recruiting for positions.

The Group has endeavored wherever possible to use local builders and tradesmen with the renovations and therefore will start recruiting initially within the local community.