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Adande md Ian Wood (far right) guides foreign secretary Philip Hammond (far left) and local MP Peter Aldous around the company’s plant

UK: Adande has received a £2.1m government grant to develop a new type of energy efficient refrigerated retail display cabinet.

The grant, which includes a loan of £380,000, is part of a £4.2m project Adande is leading with Bond Retail Services and plastics manufacturer Plas-Tech Ltd.

The grant to Adande was one of 20 supply chain projects in receipt of a total of £67m of government investment, announced by business secretary Vince Cable at the end of March.

“We have made a significant investment in the design and development of Aircell, with recent in-store trials bringing the technology within the realms of commercial viability,” commented Adande md Ian Wood. “The award of the grant and the equity investment, which we are currently seeking, will enable us to fine tune Aircell to meet the specific needs of retailers for sustainable refrigeration, offering tangible energy savings and an improved shopping experience.”

On Wednesday of last week, foreign secretary Philip Hammond joined Adande’s local MP Peter Aldous in visiting the Lowestoft-based manufacturer to learn first-hand about the company.

The minister was briefed on Adande’s proven track record for product innovation and eco-pioneering initiatives in the field of foodservice refrigeration, as well as the company’s rapid growth and its growing importance as an employer in the area. The company’s export growth, with sales in Europe, Asia and the Americas, was also discussed.

“Everybody talks about the very big household named companies and of course they are very important to us, but most of the jobs being created in our economy are being created in small businesses – that is where the future is,” said Philip Hammond.

MP Peter Aldous added: “The company have made significant progress in the past 4 years; increasing their turnover and staff and developing new products which they are exporting around the world. It is important that such innovative and aspirational businesses are given every encouragement to grow.”