‘Sausage world’ factory opens creating 75 jobs

Andrew Keeble, co-founder of Heck Sausages in Bedale, North Yorkshire.  Picture James Hardisty
Andrew Keeble, co-founder of Heck Sausages in Bedale, North Yorkshire. Picture James Hardisty
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Family-owned sausage producer Heck Food has created 75 jobs after opening a £3.5m ‘sausage world’ factory, which makes more than 700 sausages per minute.

Heck is aiming to double its share in the premium sausage market after opening the new Bedale factory in North Yorkshire, with the firm also expecting to increase its turnover to £18m this year.

The business made the investment with support from a £2.35m finance package from long standing banking partner, Lloyds Bank, which also provided a £530,000 hire purchase facility to help fund the facility’s new production lines.

Co-founders Andrew and Debbie Keeble and their team have grown the company into a multimillion-pound business in the last four years.

Rushi Sunak, MP for Richmond, Yorkshire recently quoted Heck as one of the best examples of agrifood businesses in the UK as part of the Pride and Provenance campaign, which demonstrates the value of Yorkshire’s farm to table supply chain.

Andrew Keeble, co-founder of Heck Food, said: “Our investment in the new factory will be key to securing Heck’s place as Britain’s favourite sausage on the plate.”

“Innovation is at the heart of what we do and we’ve been busy taking the traditional British banger and giving it a healthier makeover. The vegetarian brand we launched with Waitrose last year has been a huge success, while our lower fat chicken and new vegan ranges are going down a storm too.”

“We’re one of the last independent businesses in the British sausage industry, selling nearly double the volume of our closest competitor.

“Lloyds Bank has been an important partner in helping us to grow further and continue to innovate.”

Ian Smellie, relationship director at Lloyds Bank, said: “Our latest food and drink report found that producers in the sector are optimistic with an appetite for expansion. After opening the new factory, Heck is in an excellent position to exceed growth expectations for food and drink firms over the next five years.

“It’s ambitious and innovative producers like Heck that are creating jobs and investing in growing young talent, and helping Britain’s food and drink sector to prosper.”

Celsius Projects helped bring to life Heck’s vision for a new production facility. After considering a number of potential sites, Heck decided to develop an agricultural setting, which had historic connections to the Keeble family.

The prominent location, alongside the A1M, required a design that was both functional, compliant and sustainable.

Pete Wright, from Celsius Projects, said: “We designed and delivered the construction for the two-story structure that houses a full production process from goods in, temperature controlled storage, high / low care production, goods out and all staff facilities and offices required to form a headquarters building.”

Heck was founded by Mr and Mrs Keeble and three of their children in 2013. Its products are stocked in all of the major supermarkets.