Government backs solar energy investment at food producer

Bedale-based HECK Food has invested in solar energy production at its HQ in Kirklington.

The company has installed 433 solar electricity panels, capable of generating 200,000 kwh per year, 20% of the factory energy.

Jamie Keeble, business co-founder, said the installation of solar panels was “an additional effort to make sure that we’re being sustainable from a factory perspective and also to support our journey to net zero. We’ll be saving 45 tonnes of carbon per year”.

The project has received a £49,950 grant of the total £150,000 investment, from the Government through the UK shared prosperity fund.

This is a central pillar of the levelling up agenda and has provided £2.6bn of funding for local investment by March 2025. One of the pillars is supporting businesses in their journey to net zero and supporting the circular economy.

Richard Flinton, chief executive of North Yorkshire Council says, “Supporting the decarbonisation of the county is a key priority for the council.

“It is brilliant to see this grant have such a positive impact in supporting HECK Food to install solar panels.

“Manufacturers of quality products like HECK are an important part of the economy and it is vital they’re supported to reach net zero.”

In addition to the solar panels installed on site, the company is working on a wider programme of sustainability in its journey to net zero.

Part of this work has been the launch of a “Care Code” covering initiatives across health, environment, community and kindness.

Keeble added: “We are quite unique in the industry as we make all our sausages, meatballs and burgers at our factory and we’re the only premium brand who makes their own food.

“We’ve made a commitment to our consumers and retail customers to show a transparent sustainability journey.

“We have measured our Scope 1 and 2 industry standards emissions for three years now, and as such we’ve managed a 30% reduction in our emissions.

“We recently measured Scope 3 emissions and are now identifying opportunities to reduce emissions further.”