Case Studies

GSK Enterprise Fund helps ice cream firm to expand

Three jobs are being created at a new ice cream parlour, shop and production facility at Greenodd, thanks to a grant from the GSK Enterprise Fund.

The Handmade Ice Cream Company will receive £8,000 to help move from its present site at Haverthwaite.

The new facility, at Crakeside Business Park, is set to open at Easter after South Lakeland Council confirmed that it would grant planning permission for change of use.

Steven Darvill, a former pastry chef who set up the Handmade Ice Cream Company, said: “We’ve basically run out of room where we are and need more space. The move will safeguard two jobs and create three more.

“We wouldn’t have been able to make the move now without the grant from the GSK Enterprise Fund. It’s happening 12 to 18 months sooner than it would have done.”

Steven established the business in 2012 to provide high quality ice creams to professional chefs who are too busy to make their own. All its products, including a vegan range, are free from artificial colourings and preservatives.

Until now, it has supplied hotels, restaurants and wholesalers. The new facility at Greenodd will allow it to sell directly to consumers through the shop and ice cream parlour.

Steven added: “This marks another stage in the evolution of the business. We get a lot of interest through our website and Facebook page from people who want to visit us and taste our products. This will allow them to do that.”

The GSK Enterprise Fund provides grants of between £2,000 and £100,000 to meet up to 30 per cent of the cost of projects that create permanent employment.

The pharmaceutical company set up the £0.5m fund to mitigate the impact of job losses at its Ulverston site. Cumbria Business Growth Hub operates the scheme on behalf of GSK.

Suzanne Caldwell, Deputy Chief Executive of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, the lead partner in the Growth Hub, said: “The Handmade Ice Cream Company is a fast-growing business with a great range of products and huge potential.

“We’re delighted to be able to help them relocate, expand and diversify their offer. This is an exciting development.”

Although the GSK Enterprise Fund remains open for applications, Cumbria Business Growth Hub says that demand for the grants has been “extremely strong” and it is likely that all the funding will be committed in the near future.

Businesses can find out more here or by calling 0844 257 84 50.

NoteDue to levels of demand, new applications to GSK are being placed on hold. If you are still interested in applying, you may submit an expression of interest and we’ll add it to the waiting list until those that were already in the pipeline are resolved.