Piglets Adventure Farm sows seeds of growth with new attractions

A York farm, turned family adventure playground, has added new attractions and completed a major refurbishment, thanks to a six-figure funding package from Yorkshire Bank.

Piglets Adventure Farm Ltd in Towthorpe has developed new attractions including a large outdoor play area and a piglet maternity ward where families can see piglets with their mothers soon after they are born. The family business has also refurbished the admissions area, gift shop and ‘Piglets Coffee House’ which now includes a smaller indoor play area.

Yorkshire Bank provided the funding to support the additions and refurbishments with Gordon Blackwood, relationship manager at the Bank’s Business and Private Banking Centre in York, arranging the deal.

The adventure playground, which received 75,000 visitors last year, was originally established as an arable farm in 2001.  It is owned by Edward Sykes, his mother Margaret and father Geoff who have been customers of Yorkshire Bank for more than 20 years.

The family chose to diversify the business and explore alternative ways to generate revenue, due to a turbulent agricultural market. The 152 acre farm would often host family events such as Easter egg hunts that proved to be extremely popular. This led to Edward noticing a gap in the family entertainment market.

Piglets Adventure Farm opened in 2013 and also includes a maize maze, crazy golf, bouncing barrels train ride, petting barn and go-kart track. The business hires approximately 25 staff during the summer and ten staff in the off-peak season. The owners hope to create more jobs over the next year to cater for business growth generated by the funding.

In the future, Edward would ideally like the attraction to remain open all year, as it currently closes between October and March. He also aims to open a play barn building and show space that can host entertainers such as magicians.

Edward said: “We have a fantastic relationship with Gordon who has looked after us throughout the entire funding process. He is very personable, easy to talk to and has taken the time to learn about our business goals.

“In order to remain competitive we have chosen to focus on diversification and taking advantage of the opportunities in front of us. We have been overwhelmed by the popularity of Piglets Adventure Farm and believe these investments will further enhance the fun and unique family day out that we offer.”

Rick Warburton, head of Yorkshire Bank’s Business and Private Banking Centre in North Yorkshire, said: “We are proud to have supported long-term customers Edward, Margaret and Geoff in developing their vision for Piglets Adventure Farm.

“They have created a brilliant attraction that has provided a great experience for families throughout the region. We look forward to continuing to work with the owners and helping them reach their growth ambitions.”

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Edward Sykes, owner of Piglets Adventure Farm, and Gordon Blackwood, relationship manager at Yorkshire Bank

 

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