17/11/2009

£1million investment supports expansion at Afonwen

One of the UK’s largest independently owned laundries is embarking on further expansion with £1million investment from Finance Wales.


Afonwen Laundry, which has sites in Pwllheli, Cardiff and a sister company in Leeds, has already invested £11million in the business since 1999 and has embarked on a further expansion with the opening of a state-of-the-art facility in Cardiff in June last year.

The £1million debt investment from Finance Wales, which provides commercial funding to businesses in Wales, will enable the company to build on its 500 plus client base, which includes a wide range of nationwide branded corporate and budget hotels to small independent boutique hotels. The company currently supplies over 25,000 hotel bedrooms throughout Wales and large parts of England.

Afronwen Laundry was established in 1935 in North Wales and was acquired by the Woolfenden family in 1976. The company has continually invested in new technology and products, taking the business to where it is today, employing over 300 people and laundering more than 1.2 million items of linen a week. Recent investment has allowed the company to introduce a premium linen service, using premier Egyptian cotton, to some of its clients.

“The past few years has seen significant investment placed in the business and this latest investment, supported by Finance Wales plc, allows us to continue to grow and expand,” said Mark Woolfenden, Managing Director at Afonwen Laundry. “We now have a large client base throughout Wales, the North of England, Midlands, South West England and across the M4 corridor to London. We are building on this, adding new products and services, and providing what our clients need – a premier linen and laundry service at a competitive and cost-effective price.”

The company’s commitment to quality is mirrored by its responsibility to the environment. The company’s new Cardiff laundry site has hot water recycling technology, meaning 70 per cent of the mains water used throughout the laundry process is recycled. Its Pwllheli operation is the only laundry in Wales that can fully treat its own trade effluent with an on-site effluent treatment works.

“Afonwen Laundry has a strong strategic growth plan which is enabling it to invest in new technology, expand into new markets, while maintaining its family ethos of quality which has helped to maintain some clients for the past 30 years,” said Heather Abrahams, Investment Executive at Finance Wales plc. “The debt investment from Finance Wales will enable the company to continue its growth, acquiring new linen stocks and ensuring clients receive the best possible service.”

The company has previously received investment from the Welsh Assembly Government towards the establishment of the Cardiff laundry facility as well as in expanding its North Wales business.