The Water Brands Group which owns and manages both the Harrogate Spring Water and Thirsty Planet brands supplies more than 65 million bottles a year to customers ranging from restaurants and supermarkets to airlines and the travel sector. Launched in 2002, the Harrogate Spring brand has consistently outperformed market growth. It is now firmly established in the Top 10 UK bottled water brands and was voted the 'best sparkling water in the world' at the International Water Tasting Awards in Berkeley Springs USA.
The company has continuously re-invested in the business and in 2011 opened its own on-site microbiological testing laboratory and further expansion plans include on site warehousing and another bottling line. James Cain, Managing Director of The Water Brands Group, explains the challenges involved in ensuring the continued growth of a successful consumer brand in a highly competitive market:
"Harrogate Spring Water has become synonymous with trust, provenance and premium values. We want to capitalise on those brand attributes and further strengthen Harrogate Spring's position in the drinks market and to do that, we need to ensure we optimise every aspect of the business - which includes our finances.
"We reviewed our banking arrangements and felt that we needed a banking partner that really understood our business and was willing to support our growth ambitions. I had heard about Aldermore from a close friend and was interested to find out more about their capabilities, so arranged a meeting.
"From that first meeting, I was extremely impressed with the high calibre of Aldermore's staff and their ability to quickly assimilate key information about our business and understand what we wanted to achieve. They immediately got it; they understood our working capital needs and were able to develop a proposal tailored to our specific requirements.
"The prospect of moving our working capital finance facilities was not a decision to be made lightly, having worked with our existing bank for more than 10 years. However, having met Aldermore's people and having considered their proposal I was in no doubt that the time was right to make the transition. The transfer process was both quick and efficient and the finance facilities Aldermore is now providing give us a solid financial base which will enable us to realise our strategic objectives."
Nick Smith, Regional Managing Director for Aldermore in Yorkshire, said: "The Water Brands Group is an excellent example of a great British business that has been able to grow and prosper in recessionary times. This is exactly the sort of business that Aldermore is eager to support and we're delighted to be working with them. I would like to wish James and his team every success for the future."
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