150 Years in Ashbourne
It was in 1870 that Frank Wright established himself as a grain trader supplying Derbyshire farmers.
The company was originally based in Brassington, moving to Mayfield in 1899 with a flour mill near the Hanging Bridge; the building was demolished in 1922, but the footings of the building are still visible today.
In 1919 we moved to new premises at Clifton Road in Ashbourne. The company had also become haulage contractors in 1910, but it was in the late 1930s that manufacturing commenced with the processing of iodized minerals for use as additives to animal feeding stuffs.
Even so, the bulk of the business was in road jaulage until just after World War II when the government nationalised road transport. with Frank Wright Limited receiving a few hundred pounds in compensation.
In 1964 Tony Wright (great grandson of Frank) joined the company and he saw the potential in expanding the manufacturing side of the business. In 1970, the business was split between Frank Wright (Feed Supplements) and Frank Wright (Farm Sales). There was also a Frank Wright shop in the town close to Smith’s Tavern, which sold pet food and was noted for the large rectangular clock outside.
However, expansion was not easy, as the company was located in the centre of Ashbourne between the railway and a main road. This led to us moving to our current site in 1974, whilst at the same time selling the retail shop that was situated in the town centre.
The change of emphasis towards manufacturing premix and farm minerals to supply feed compound firms rather than selling direct to farm saw the company expand rapidly during the 70s and 80s.
The company moved from being privately owned to being acquired by BASF in 1996 and then Nutreco in 2007. Nutreco themselves were acquired by SHV in 2015 and we have continued to go from strength to strength – the benefits of 150 years of experience combined with a company dedicated to “feeding the future”.