Near £2 million investment by fresh owners bringing new factory and new jobs to raw pet food company Albion, aided by John Truslove

A West Midlands raw dog food firm is starting the new year preparing to move into bigger premises following a £1.15 million property deal aided by commercial property agents John Truslove.

Albion Meat Products has been bought by dog-loving husband and wife team Giles and Gill Bower who have big plans for the 40-year-old business.

Alongside a move from its Pershore home to a 19,062 sq ft unit on the Waterloo Industrial Estate in Bidford-on-Avon, the firm is introducing a new range of products alongside its well-established line of raw dog food.

And that will mean more jobs once the move is completed, followed by further recruitment as more new products follow later in the year.

The big changes at Albion reflect big changes for the Bowers. After two decades running a steel manufacturing firm, making roller shutters and garage doors, the couple were bought out by a Swedish company in January.

Giles Bower said: “When we were looking for a new business to invest in, my wife said she would like it to be something involving animals, and then we heard about Albion Meat Products coming up for sale.

“It has been owned by the same family for 41 years and the owners are staying on to advise us for a couple of years. But the premises in Pershore prevent any further growth – there isn’t room to swing a cat.

“We started looking for factories but they are very hard to come by at the moment. Ian Parker at John Truslove has put a lot of work into helping us secure the new unit, but it proved a complicated deal so we have only just been able to get underway revamping the premises and installing equipment such as new freezers.

“It was previously used to manufacture tractors so we have had to completely refit it, which has involved the investment of another £750,000. That includes the installation of a 150 kilowatt solar panel array on the roof, which will save us around £50,000 a year on our energy bills.

“We are hoping to move all eight existing staff across from the Pershore site in the early spring, at which point we aim to hire another six people as we increase production. The intention is to take on more people as we continue to expand.

“As well as our raw meat range we are introducing all-natural air-dried treats for dogs. Fortunately we have our own team of tasters for our products – we have 10 rescue dogs, all red setters.

“We started adopting rescue dogs when we lived in Spain for a time – we went out with two dogs and finally moved back to the UK with six.”

Ian Parker, joint managing director at John Truslove, worked with Giles and Gill Bower to help them secure the purchase of Unit 3B Wellington Road, on the Waterloo Industrial Estate in Bidford-on-Avon. The 19,062 sq ft unit consists of a 13,059 sq ft ground floor and a 6,003 sq ft mezzanine.

Mr Parker said: “This was a complex deal that took several months to complete but, thanks to the patience and good will of both sides, a successful outcome was achieved. Mr and Mrs Bower have impressive plans for this business but needed premises large enough for substantial growth.

“We look forward to seeing Albion Meat Products go from strength to strength.”

Solicitors from Wright Hassall in Warwick advised Albion Meat Products in the acquisition.

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