A FAMILY ice cream firm founded from adversity has secured funding to continue its growth.
Archers Jersey Ice Cream has been supported by Barclays Business to launch a parlour in Redcar.
Bosses say the move has allowed the firm to take on two apprentices, as well as full-time workers and seasonal staff.
John and Susan Archer and their three children founded Archers Jersey Ice Cream in 2002 after losing their original herd of Holstein Friesians to the foot-and-mouth outbreak.
They started milking Jersey cows at their New Moor Farm, at Walworth Gate, near Darlington, and now have parlours across the North, in Redcar, Newcastle, Richmond Northallerton, Yarm, Liverpool and The Wirral.
Mr Archer said: “Barclays funding and advice has enabled us to weather the recent economic downturn, restructure our finances and expand with the new ice cream parlour in Redcar.
“With their help, we’ve had a complete economic review to see how we can operate more effectively and free up cashflow.
“It’s taken a lot of hard work on all sides but we have fully restructured our finances and we’re now confident we have good processes in place to secure the future of the business for the next generation.”
Gavin Brittle, Barclays’ business banking director, added: “It’s been very rewarding seeing John and Susan progress their new plans.”
Earlier this year, The Northern Echo revealed Archers was working with the Foundation for Jobs programme to take on five apprentices, including two food manufacturing workers.
Foundation for Jobs, which has worked with about 3,000 young people, is a national award-winning project aiming to tackle youth unemployment, and is delivered by The Northern Echo, Darlington Borough Council and the Darlington Partnership.