Bank of Scotland deal quenches Fife firm’s thirst for growth

Published: 8 Oct 2013 09:30

A Fife-based mineral water firm has sealed a £340,000 finance deal with Bank of Scotland to switch from renting its production facility near Dunbar to buying the premises outright.

Pictured are Dr John Scrymgeour-Wedderburn and BoS relationship manager Mark Lovell.

Pictured are Dr John Scrymgeour-Wedderburn and BoS relationship manager Mark Lovell.

Purely Scottish, which is owned by Kelty-based Water Coolers (Scotland) Ltd, says the purchase is crucial in enabling the company to secure long-term and direct access to natural mineral water sourced from its own organic-certified land, as well as being able to label and bottle at source.

It says the purchase will help to strengthen the brand, whose product range includes still, sparkling and Fruit ‘n’ Vits flavoured waters, as one of Scotland’s leading premium natural mineral water producers.

By increasing its production and expanding its supply across Scotland, as well as into the rest of the UK for the first time, Purely Scottish, which turns over around £1.4 million a year and supplies more than 12 million litres of natural mineral water to businesses, schools, retail outlets and major supermarkets, including Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Aldi, in Scotland, predicts a sales growth of around £1.8 million over the next 12 months.

The Bank of Scotland deal will also help Purely Scottish support 40 jobs and create a further eight at its Oldhamstocks site.

Purely Scottish managing director Dr John Scrymgeour-Wedderburn, who is an active member of the Executive Council of the European Drinking Water Cooler Association (EDWCA) and works to continually raise the standards of the wider industry, said: “It’s a really exciting time for the Purely Scottish brand. We’re now able to secure the future of our Scottish natural mineral water, which is sourced directly from our privately-owned site near Dunbar.

“Financial support from Bank of Scotland has enabled us to purchase our premises and plan significant growth for the business in the year ahead, which will include expanding sales beyond Scotland for the first time. Our relationship manager, Mark Lovell, has provided practical expert guidance and has continued to share our vision for the future growth and specialist needs of the business.”

Bank of Scotland’s Mark Lovell added: “Purely Scottish is a great example of a Scottish drinks company that has identified key areas for growth and has benefited from our financial support and guidance.

“We’re confident that they’ll go from strength to strength and continue to develop their reputation as one of Scotland’s leading premium mineral water brands as they expand the business across Scotland and the rest of the UK.

“Our experienced teams are well placed to support the anticipated growth in the food and drink sector by providing comprehensive expert financial services.”

In 2011, Water Coolers (Scotland) Ltd, via a wholly owned subsidiary WCS (Bottlers) Ltd, acquired the Purely Scottish brand, including production facilities and distribution.

Established in 1998, Water Coolers (Scotland) Ltd, which supplies bottled and mains-fed water coolers, as well as a range of hot water boilers, is now thought to be the largest independent water cooler company in Scotland.

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