AN EAST Yorkshire farm has secured a five-figure funding package from HSBC UK to invest in sustainable technology.

Gordon and Jill Hawcroft, with assistance from their son David, have operated their arable and poultry farm in Holme on Spalding Moor for over 40 years. With the backing of HSBC UK, the family has now added a 100-kilowatt solar panelling system to four of its ecologically friendly poultry sheds.

The eco-sheds, which span 105,000 sq. ft. and house more than 215,000 chickens, will now be completely powered by the solar panels. The new system is expected to cut overall electricity costs for the farm by 20%, enabling the farm to increase profitability.

Mr Hawcroft, owner of Forest Farm Poultry, said: “Farming standards are higher than they’ve ever been and sustainability is now a key consideration across the industry. This solar panel purchase will allow our business to continue to run in line with our eco-friendly ethos, building on our desire to operate a responsible and sustainable long-term business. We’re delighted that the panels will allow the poultry farm to generate enough power to run completely self-sufficiently.”

HSBC agriculture relationship manager, Rob Mayson, added: “The Hawcroft’s farm has been successful for many years due to careful management and the commitment of the family. This latest investment into sustainable solar energy shows that the farm is taking big steps to become as eco-friendly as possible.”

The Hawcrofts have operated the arable farm in Holme on Spalding Moor since 1980, recently growing a full range of arable crops with an integrated Higher Level Stewardship Scheme to transform the wildlife status of the farm. In Spring 2020, the farm launched Forest Farm Poultry, selling high quality meat to new markets across the UK.

The family also runs a seven-bed farmhouse operating as a holiday accommodation let on the site, which has recently reopened to visitors following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.