More jobs are on the cards as Spalding-based Butters Group is poised for further expansion to build on its success as the UK’s leading distributor of horticultural products.
The group is seeking planning consent to extend its glasshouse space by 3,596 square metres – an increase of around 14.5 per cent on the existing 24,000 sq m area – and the development is expected to generate more than 50 jobs over 18 months.
The business in Kellett Gate, Low Fulney, started out in 1973 as a family run company but has grown progressively over the years while adding major retailers like Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, Asda and B&Q to its ever-growing list of customers.
Last year, the company employed a total of 867 staff at peak times, had 3,714 product lines and annual turnover of £52million.
Butters Group operations director Warren Hatchett commented on the latest planned expansion this week, describing it as “business as usual”.
He said: “I have been with the business for six years and the strategy has been ‘expand and grow the business’ all the while I have been here.”
If South Holland District Council’s planning committee consents to the glasshouse expansion, the development is expected to further boost the district’s economy.
Mr Hatchett said he would expect the additional jobs to come on stream over an 18-month period.
Austin John Developments, planning agents for Butters Group, have submitted a statement to the council in support of the plan, saying Butters has played a large role in the local and national horticultural industry for over 40 years and “seems to be growing” while a lot of the UK’s agricultural industry “may be suffering”.
Recent milestones in the Butters Group success story included:
2010: £100,000 investment in its bulb business by building temperature controlled storage
2011: Heavy investment in glasshouse and pack-house facilities and the introduction of two new divisions to the business, Butters Flowers and Butters Nurseries
2012: Registration with FloraHolland for direct sourced materials, making it possible to increase its profits
2013: Acquisition of Landgard, strengthening the plant business and boosting turnover by 25 per cent