A third-generation dairy farm in the Chew Valley is set to double its productivity thanks to investment in sustainable technology.

Bickfield Farm produces milk exclusively for The Estate Dairy – a luxury dairy manufacturer that distributes milk to high-end restaurants and cafés across London and Oxford.

The £785,000 loan from Lloyds Bank will be used to implement a new milking parlour to improve production and modernise the milking process.

The state-of-the-art technology will increase the farm’s milking capacity while reducing the overall running time, allowing 50 per cent more cows to be milked during any given period.

Philip Durbin, who runs the farm with his father Maurice, said: “In recent years, there has been a growing demand for high-quality local dairy produce from across the region.

"Investing in our new milking parlour will allow us to continue to deliver the very best produce more efficiently.

“Becoming more sustainable remains a key priority for the farm and we’re constantly thinking of ways to reduce waste and become energy-efficient.

"From installing LED lighting to powering the parlour through an on-site solar array during sunny days, we’re committed to lowering our environmental impact.”

Investing in the new milking parlour supports the farm’s long-term sustainability commitment.

The milking process currently accounts for 60 per cent of the farm’s total electricity usage, and by reducing the running time, the business will achieve a 30 per cent energy saving.

What’s more, heat generated from the new technology will pass through a heat exchange system and be used to pre-heat water to support the farm’s cleaning process.

Philip’s grandparents moved to Bickfield in August 1930 and his father took over the farm’s operations in 1975. Since then, the farm has increased its herd to more than 330 cows across 185 hectares. The new milking parlour is expected to be operational by the end of the year.

The finance package a bank initiative which provides discounted funding to help businesses transition to a lower carbon, more sustainable future.

Victoria Crisp, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank, added: “Our Clean Growth Finance Initiative is designed to support businesses with their environmental and sustainability goals.

"The new milking parlour at Bickfield Farm will not only improve efficiency and production levels but allow Philip and the team to operate more sustainably. We will continue to be by the side of South West businesses to help them grow in the most sustainable way.”