Cider firm Aspall celebrates £150k grant towards new apple press

Aspall pressed English apple juice

Aspall pressed English apple juice - Credit: Archant

Cider maker Aspall has scooped a £150,000 grant to support its plans to produce more home-grown apple juice and take a slice out of the imported juice market.

Des Smith of Aspall.

Des Smith of Aspall. - Credit: Archant

The firm, based near Debenham, wants a new, high capacity apple press and associated processing infrastructure to enable it to increase the amount of apple juice it can process for both its cider and apple juice products.

The new apple press, supported by the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative, is expected to create around seven new jobs and enable Aspall to supply customers with an additional 3 million litres of home-grown apple juice at a more competitive price by 2018.

The increase in capacity means it will be able to buy more apples from local producers across Suffolk and Norfolk, supporting further business growth within its supply chain.

The apple juice market in the UK has been dominated by imported European juice in recent years, something that the team at Aspall is keen to counter with the new facility, which will enable the firm to improve the quality and yield of its juice.

Barry and Henry Chevallier Guild of Aspall Cyder.

Barry and Henry Chevallier Guild of Aspall Cyder. - Credit: Lucy Taylor

Managing director Des Smith said they were “delighted” at the award.

“The new facility will help us to create jobs going forward and enable Aspall to enter new markets with English apple juice, a marketplace that is currently dominated by European juice coming into the UK,” he said.

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Mark Reeve, chairman of the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative and the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “Aspall is a strong local company with an ambition to grow further and create new jobs. They are exactly the kind of company we want to support via grants from the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative, so I am pleased to announce that we have committed £150,000 to this new facility.

“The project will not only allow Aspall to increase their production capacity, it will also enable them to be more competitive in the apple juice market, which is currently dominated by imported products from Europe. We ultimately want to see more English Apple Juice on the shelves of our supermarkets, and I believe this investment will help make that happen.”

Chris Starkie, managing director of New Anglia LEP, said: “The food, drink and agriculture sector is one of the largest manufacturing industries in Suffolk and Norfolk. Aspall is one of the leading businesses in that sector – a company with a heritage of hundreds of years with a brand that is now recognised across the world. This grant will help them produce more and purchase more from local supplies boosting the supply chain and providing customers with millions more litres of home-grown juice.”

The Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative is run by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP) with support from New Anglia LEP, Norfolk County Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, and the local authorities covering this area.

Grants are available to organisations looking to invest in specialist equipment, new market and supply chain development, ways to improve productivity and efficiency, and the application and commercialisation of research and development.

To find out how the Eastern Agri-Tech growth Initiative could help to grow your business, visit or call the LEP on 01480 277180.