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New Managing Director appointed for Radnor Hills

From left Simon Knight and William Watkins of Radnor Hills

Simon Knight officially took up the role at the Knighton-based company yesterday (Monday, June 3).

Former Managing Director William Watkins will become CEO of Radnor Hills.

Simon has worked as a consultant for Radnor for the past two years after being recommended by the Welsh Government.

He has over 30 years of experience in the FMCG industry, with roles including Sales and Marketing Director for premium snacks brand Burts Snacks, helping to drive the business from an £11m to a £57m turnover. He has also worked for Mars Wrigley.

Simon said: “I’m thrilled to be joining Radnor at such an interesting time. We have a great range of brands and lots of exciting new product development in the pipeline.

“Radnor is fast-growing and independent and has maintained a refreshingly agile way of working. I really like William’s ethos of continual investment in the company which allows it to flourish and grow.

“It’s very much a family business and I’ve been impressed with how passionate our team is about the brands we produce, our customers and consumers. I am very confident that we have everything in place for continued growth and success.

“The real magic is in Radnor’s basket of products which have been perfected for over 36 years. The company produces every format from one site, including glass, RPET plastic, Tetra Pak and cans.

“I intend to bring a strategic and collaborative focus to my new role and will be setting very clear goals that bring the wider team together as one.

“Every person is vital for us to succeed so I’ll be focusing on our brilliant people and their capabilities to ensure we are set up for success and can ultimately deliver results for all of our stakeholders.”

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William Watkins, who founded Radnor Hills in 1990, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Simon is joining the Radnor team, bringing a wealth of experience within FMCG to our business. He has a proven track record of growing businesses profitably, driving efficiencies, building customer relationships and getting the very best out of his team through a clear strategic focus.

“These are exciting times for the business. Radnor Hills continues to grow, and Simon’s focus will be on the day to day running of the business, allowing me to focus on the longer-term projects, ensuring we continue to have in place the capacity to keep up with the demand of our products.”

Radnor produces a range of still, sparkling and delicious flavoured drinks all made with exceptionally pure spring water sourced from its boreholes.

To support the company’s ongoing strategic growth, last year Radnor acquired Highland Spring Group’s Welsh production site in Blaen Twyni, Swansea.

It also unveiled a multi-million-pound investment in its Knighton-based manufacturing site with new production facilities, a quality assurance laboratory, a state-of-the-art office complex and a conference facility on its site.

Radnor also invested £1.8 million in solar panels to help power its operations, and this now provides 25% of the factory’s electricity requirement.

Radnor Hills was established in Wales in 1990 and has grown to produce over 400 million drinks each year. The company employs over 250 people at its site in Knighton, Powys.

Its brands include Radnor Hills Spring Water, Heartsease Farm, Radnor Splash, and a range of leading school-approved children’s drinks sold in schools nationwide.

Radnor’s diverse drinks portfolio is all made using exceptionally pure Welsh spring water sourced from the 5th generation family farm’s land, just minutes from the production line for maximum freshness.

The company is a zero-to-landfill site, with its own recycling facility and in-house team to facilitate this. Its environmental management system and site have been certified to ISO 14001 standards. It has invested £1.8 million in a new solar farm which produces 2,000 kWh of power a year, allowing 25% of the factory to be powered by the sun.

All of Radnor’s products are fully recyclable. Its plastic bottles and shrink wraps are 100% recyclable and they’re also made up of 30% recycled materials. Cartons are straw-free and its aluminium cans are infinitely recyclable.

Last year, Radnor became the first winner of the new Excellence in Sustainability Award sponsored by the Welsh Government.

In May, Radnor became Wales Food and Drink Award’s Sustainable Business of the Year.

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