Wiltshire farm shop cooks up sustainable expansion with support from Lloyds Bank

By Nick Batten on 29 October, 2022

Wiltshire-based farm shop and café, Hartley Farm, has expanded the premises of its restaurant, having secured a six-figure funding package from Lloyds Bank’s Clean Growth Financing Initiative. 

The £300,000 funding has allowed Hartley Farm to increase its restaurant covers capacity by 35%, further diversifying the usage of the farm’s seasonal produce. 

In addition to its expansion, Hartley Farm has also enhanced its green credentials by installing solar panels that will provide 140 KW of power, increasing its onsite energy capacity to service 45% of its annual demand. Plans are also being explored to diversify the farm’s sustainable energy sources further, including battery storage and small-scale wind turbines. 

The business is also set to develop a rainwater harvesting plant that will help the farm recycle two million litres of rainwater annually in part one of the project, and up to six million litres when complete. The project is set to start in Q4 of 2023.

The 125 acre farm, run by fifth generation family member Tom Bowles and his father Richard Bowles, produces seasonal goods, with a focus on regenerative methods and inspiring sustainability within the community. 

Hartley Farm – which is based in Winsley near Bradford-on-Avon – currently employs 50 members of staff across its farm, shop, and restaurant. With the opening of the restaurant, it is forecasting that revenue will increase by £600,000 to £2.4 million.

Tom Bowles, Owner of Hartley Farm, said, “Throughout the development, we’ve had such brilliant support from the local community and now we’ve re-opened, we’re excited to welcome customers back to Hartley Farm. 

“The expansion has also given us the opportunity to invest in our net zero journey and help diversify our energy sources, which is something we’re incredibly passionate about. 

“The support from Lloyds Bank has allowed us to take the farm to new heights and build upon the work of our family before us. Their knowledge and experience have supported the diversification of the business which has proved to be invaluable.”

Mike Stus, Relationship Manager at Lloyds Bank, said, “With the rising cost of energy threatening the existence of small businesses, recognising growth opportunities that can increase cashflow and slash overheads is crucial in the current market. 

“The launch of Hartley Farm’s restaurant expansion epitomises this and we’re proud to have been able to support a local business with huge potential. We will remain by the side of agricultural businesses to help them achieve their growth ambitions.”