Huge £6m investment for Harrogate water company

James Cain, managing director of Water Brands Group, at the new �6m production facility site. (S)
James Cain, managing director of Water Brands Group, at the new �6m production facility site. (S)

A multi-million pound investment is being pumped into Harrogate Spring Water’s site in the town, doubling the size of its bottling plant and quadrupling its output.

The Harlow Moor site, home to the classic brand which was once voted best in the world for its sparkling water, has grown from strength to strength in recent years.

Work has already begun on developing its existing site at a cost of £6m, building a 23,000 sq ft extension which will house a new state-of-the-art bottling line.

The company had seen record growth this year, topping 10 million sales in July, a phenomena it has put down to healthier lifestyles - and good weather.

“The bottled water market has never been in a better position,” said group managing director James Cain. “It’s now valued at an estimated £1.7 billion, and we’ve kept ahead of the curve.

“Growth is down to the public becoming disillusioned with sugary soft drinks, coupled with a continued move towards healthier hydration. And of course good weather always helps.”

Mr Cain says Water Brands grew by 16 per cent in the last financial year to over £8 million - against a UK market increase of 3.3 per cent.

The new bottling site, he added, will be the first in the country to use the latest revolutionary technology.

“We have one of the top five spring water brands in the sector with our signature brand Harrogate, and our charity Thirsty Planet prides itself on being the most ethically robust charity water brand in the market,” he said.

“Since 2002, we’ve achieved annual growth of over 30 per cent, significantly ahead of market. We now need to safeguard and further enhance our offering, which is why we’re investing £6m in the most technologically advanced equipment available, in order to significantly increase the capacity we can deliver. It’s about being forward thinking and future proofing the business.”

This is the biggest single investment in the 11-year-history of the Water Brands Group, owner of Harrogate Spring water and charity Thirsty Planet, which works to provide safe drinking water in Africa.

This charity brand, the company also announced this week, has furthermore secured a major sponsorship deal with the Rugby League World Cup 2013, becoming the official water partner of the tournament

The sponsorship deal includes a “significant” donation to its charity partner Pump It, which works to deliver clean water to over one million people in sub-Saharan Africa.