New bank funding puts waste handler Grist Group on road to further growth

May 7, 2014

Waste management company Grist Group is targeting growth after making a number of investments in the business including new plant, machinery and land.

The Devizes business has recently installed one of the UK’s largest baling machines to compress recycled material so that it can be transported more efficiently. It has also acquired the Chivers Yard on Williams Road to house and maintain its fleet of 70 waste management vehicles.

The waste management operations of the group are conducted by its subsidiary company, Wiltshire Waste (Recycling), while the Grist Group is also involved in metal reclamation, as well as commercial vehicle servicing, vehicle recovery and accident repairs.

Last year, it installed a materials recovery plant to process waste more effectively into materials that can be recycled, such as glass, plastics and cardboard, and those that can be recovered and used in non-landfill technologies, such as renewable energies.

Currently between 70% and 80% of materials are recycled, and the company is targeting zero waste going to landfill.

The company has invested £3.2m as part of the project, which has been supported by a comprehensive funding package from HSBC’s Wiltshire Commercial team, in a deal managed by senior commercial manager Kevin Willcox.

HSBC’s finance includes equipment finance and commercial mortgages and has been allocated from the bank’s £600m SME fund to specifically support businesses in the South West.

The Grist Group, employing 140 people and turning over £10m, is looking to further grow on the back of the investment. The company was founded by Nigel Grist 40 years ago and works with many businesses and public sector organisations across Wiltshire and the South West.

Group finance manager Bruce Ponting said: “We have a target of 0% of our waste going to landfill and the investment in this equipment is integral to that project. Around 80% of the waste that comes to us is recycled and due to the introduction of the baling machine we are able to transport that material more efficiently. The residual material, also baled using the new equipment allowing maximum efficiency for transportation to energy recovery sites. Reducing our waste to landfill helps minimise the environmental impact and maximise profit margins.

“HSBC has been a very supportive banking partner and has helped us across several projects since becoming our main bankers in 2012. We have an excellent relationship with the team in Wiltshire and the bank has a clear appetite to support growing businesses.”

HSBC Wiltshire area commercial director Paul Maddison added: “The Grist Group is competing against some major national businesses and winning new contracts all of the time due to the investments they have made in the company. It is this forward-thinking attitude that is driving the growth of the business and we have been pleased to have supported its investments.”


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