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Leicester farm more than doubles energy output from AD plant with bank support

A Leicester, UK, farm that invested in an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant in 2012 has installed two additional tanks and more than doubled its energy output, with multi million pound funding support from Yorkshire Bank.

The Shropshire family are third generation farmers based in Huncote, Leicester, with their business employing 55 people and specialising in livestock and arable farming.

Randall Boddy, co-director of Shropshire Bio Gas Limited (SBGL), chose to diversify the farm’s offering in 2012 by installing the AD plant with significant funding from Yorkshire Bank.

The plant converts a mixture of pig slurry from the farm and food waste from across the region into energy.

Following the initial development, the output was used to run the farm and delivered surplus electricity back to the national grid, powering approximately 700 homes a day.

The Bank has now delivered additional funding to the business, increasing the number of AD tanks from two to four and allowing for the installation of a second engine.

This has increased electrical capacity from 1.2MW to 3.2MW, and has more than doubled the number of houses powered by the farm, bringing the figure closer to 2,000.

The recent phase of investment was facilitated by Robin Kirkwood, commercial relationship manager at Yorkshire Bank’s Business and Private Banking Centre in Leicester.

The farm has been a customer of the Bank for more than 17 years.

Randall Boddy and David Mackley, co-directors of SBGL, both believe establishing the AD plant has been key to the business’ recent growth.

‘Investing in the plant has produced a whole host of benefits including diversifying the business and creating an alternative source of income. This has been essential for the farm’s success during the recent downturn felt by many in our industry. 

“Aside from that, we are now actively involved in sustainable farming, producing green energy for our business and the public whilst recycling the farm’s waste,” Boddy says.

Carl Dickinson, head of Yorkshire Bank’s Business and Private Banking Centre in Leicester, calls SBGL an example of a business moving strongly forward, with the second phase of the AD plant now operational.

‘By diversifying their offering, [Bobby and Mackley] have generated significant growth at a time when difficulties are being felt throughout the farming community. As economic conditions continue to improve, Yorkshire Bank remains focused on supporting the growth ambitions of businesses in the Midlands,’ Dickinson says.