Finest Brands - Emma Coupland (left), Sue Boydell (right).
Nick Hill

Finest Brands relocate to larger Leeds premises with £1.35m investment

A supplier of equestrian riding hats, body protectors, and sportswear and outdoor fashions has relocated to new premises in Hunslet, Leeds, with the help of a £90k grant from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Finest Brands International used the grant to remain in Leeds, retain existing jobs and create additional employment opportunities.

Since moving to its new premises, which comprise 50,000 sq ft of warehouse space and 8,000 sq ft of offices, the company has strengthened its workforce with a number of new appointments.

Finest Brands International has invested £1.35m in the relocation and customisation of the new premises, funded through a commercial mortgage, director’s loans and grant funding from the LEP.

The company is the exclusive supplier of the ‘Champion’ range of British-made high performance riding hats and body protectors for the horse riding, show jumping and horse racing markets.

Clients of the £8m turnover business include three-time Olympic medallist Pippa Funnell and champion jockey Ruby Walsh, who has ridden over 2000 winners.

To date, over 4,300 businesses in the City Region have been supported to grow with LEP help to recruit apprentices, gain grants for capital expenditure, upskill teams and enter new markets.

600 businesses have taken advantage of over £2m funding to train workforces to increase competitive advantage.

Sarah-Jane Fedarb, Finest Brand’s managing director, said: “Finest Brands has been based at our previous premises in Leeds since the company was set up in 1990.

“However, the site had become far too small and we needed to lease additional warehouse facilities to cope with the growth of the business and increasing diversity of our product range.

“As we were approaching the end of our lease, it made sense to consolidate operations in a single location to improve customer service and ensure we afforded ourselves room to grow the business in future.”

Sarah-Jane Fedarb added: “We had the option to move the business to Cardiff where our Champion products are manufactured and the company already owns land and premises.

“However, we were desperate to retain our long standing and loyal team, and build our workforce as the business grows. The grant support has been critical in helping us keep the business and jobs here in Leeds.”

The new premises is the former operations base for packaging and logistics company Samuel Grant Ltd, which earlier this year moved to a new, purpose-built warehouse and head office facility in the Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone.

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