Iconic Scottish ice cream maker Equi’s is expanding its business with a move to larger premises and an increased workforce after scooping a £690,000 funding package from Scottish Enterprise.
The family firm has outgrown the base in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, where it currently creates the flavours which have become a hit in ice cream parlours and supermarkets all over Scotland.
With the support from Scottish Enterprise, the company will now move to nearby premises four times the size of their existing plant, safeguarding nine jobs and creating a further six and increasing their output to 3million litres of ice cream per year.
The funding is a combination of a £200,000 Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) Grant and £490,000 from the Scottish Loan Scheme, part of the Scottish Government’s Scottish Growth Scheme.
Managing Director David Equi, whose grandfather Peter started the company as a café in 1922, said: “Equi’s Ice Cream is an ambitious company with a passion for creating exquisitely irresistible ice cream. Over the last few years we’ve continued to expand our product range to the delight of wholesale customers and we’re ready to take our business to the next level.
“The RSA grant and the loan from the Scottish Loan Scheme will allow our company to continue to grow and we will be able to venture into new and exciting markets. We’re grateful for the continued support from Scottish Enterprise and we look forward to opening our new site.”
Trade and Investment Minster Ivan McKee visited the factory to announce the funding. He said: “Equi’s is a real example of the kind of company which makes Scotland’s food and drink sector such a success. They diversified from being a small family-run café to become a manufacturer and supplier to businesses throughout the country. Their innovation for creating unique ice-cream flavours has also helped them to become both a well-known and well-liked brand.
“The Scottish Growth Scheme was created with exactly this kind of business in mind – businesses with the potential to grow, to create more jobs and to ultimately benefit the local and wider Scottish economy.”
Kerry Sharp, Director of the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, added: “We are delighted to support Peter Equi & Sons with £490k of funding from the Scottish Loan Scheme (SLS) funding made available through the Scottish Government’s Scottish Growth Scheme.
“The SLS loan of £490k is part of an overall funding package alongside RSA which will allow the company to continue on their growth journey, expanding their product range using innovation and securing larger premises to help enable this.”