Sterling Suffolk Ltd names Jane Evans its new Managing Director

Jane Evans has today (11 Dec 2018) been appointed Managing Director of Sterling Suffolk Limited (“SSL”). SSL operates the Blakenham Nursery, at Bramford, Suffolk. Jane joined the SSL Board in April 2015 and has been extensively involved in the development of the business since its inception. She has a degree in Biochemistry from Manchester University and qualified as a Chartered Accountant at Peat Marwick, now KPMG. Jane worked at KPMG for twenty one years, moving early in her career from audit to corporate finance where, as a Director, she led project finance teams advising on major infrastructure projects. She subsequently moved to Navigant Consulting and then to Wates, the construction company. In 2013 she left the corporate world and, with a colleague, manages a business and a charity, running team building and leadership training workshops.

Jane lives in London and Suffolk. She has a partner, Chris and a son, Max who is 16.

David Scrivens of Amberside Capital, and a fellow Board Director at SSL, said: “Jane has made a valuable contribution to the Board, and, with her appointment as Managing Director, we are building the management team to take the business forward as we move into commercial operations at the Blakenham Nursery site, and look forward to the further development phases.”

Sterling Suffolk Limited has built and will operate a hydroponics glasshouse the size of 11 football pitches at Bramford in Suffolk. The first crop of tomatoes will be planted this month with the inaugural harvest due in February 2019.

Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture, which is a method of growing plants without soil using mineral nutrient solutions as a water solvent in a neutral growing media. When fully developed, the establishment of this major project will help bring more than 150 new, local jobs to the area and provide locally-grown tomatoes for the UK market all year round.

The Hemel Hempstead based Amberside Group in Hertfordshire, comprising Amberside Capital, Amberside Advisors and Amberside Energy, has raised over £15m of capital to date from private individuals for the project and has provided advice on structuring and energy. Although the chance to own an equity stake in the SSL business has passed, there is still an opportunity to help finance a further 2.7 Hectare extension to the existing glasshouse by investing, effectively as a bank, into the senior loan to the business at a fixed rate of 8.5% through Amberside ALP which can be held in an ISA. This opportunity is available to UK investors – including members of the local community – who may wish to be part of this exciting project. Although, as with all lending to companies, investors will be exposed to the risk of losing their capital if the company fails.