HESPER Farm Dairies is set for national growth after securing major investment in a deal brokered by accountants and business advisers, Garbutt and Elliott.

Hesper Farm, Bell Busk, the first farm in the UK to make a yoghurt from a traditional Icelandic recipe, is tripling its workforce after two Yorkshire entrepreneurs became investors.

The farm has been producing Skyr for four years after third generation farmer, Sam Moorhouse, visited Iceland to learn the ancient recipe for the thick, creamy natural yoghurt.

Hesper Farm's Skyr is sold at Harrods and to 110 stores across the north of the country, including all Booths supermarkets, and several Morrisons.

Up until now, it has been produced by just three people in the farm's purpose built dairy, using the farm's award winning pedigree Holstein Friesian herd.

Mr Moorhouse, managing director of Hesper Farm Dairy, said: said: “Tony Farmer and his team at Garbutt and Elliott have been integral in positioning us for the next stage in our development. We are grateful for their expertise and the new investors who have placed faith in us.

“The investment, and setting up an accounting system, enables us to pursue a national supermarket account. Our long-term aim is to make Hesper Farm the top British Skyr brand and to introduce other innovative dairy products.

“We are creating six new jobs and will make about 55,000kg of Skyr this year compared with around 9,000kg in our first 12 months.”

Skyr yoghurt is made in a 24-hour labour-intensive process, with minimal mechanisation, by incubating skimmed milk with live active cultures and straining away the whey.

Each pot uses four times as much milk as traditional plain yoghurt, making it thick and creamy, the only sweetness is natural.

Mr Farmer said: “Sam has a great natural product and the new investors are supporting an innovative UK food product with huge sales potential. We are excited to be applying our food sector experience to assist the growth of the business.”

Lead investor, founder and chairman of Elland-based BCA Group, Wim Batist, says: “While Sam had financial help from his parents to set up, he needed a lot more to reach where he wants to be. His business has potential to become a multi-million pound operation, especially with his strict quality control.”