A PIONEERING Scottish pet food company is to move its headquarters to Rosyth later this year.

Bella & Duke will also switch its distribution operation at its Inverkeithing factory on the Belleknowes Industrial Estate after securing £7 million from a consortium of investors.

The firm, which makes raw, natural pet food, received a £5m injection from growth capital investor BGF, with the balance provided by existing shareholders including a further investment from Mobeus.

The move – which is planned for September – is part of expansion plans which are set to see staffing numbers grow from 100 to 300 over the next two years across its locations.

The business was founded in 2016 by friends and dog-lovers Mark Scott and Tony Ottley after their own pets died of terminal illnesses.

They agreed that existing mainstream pet food products did not give dogs and cats the best chance of enjoying long, healthy lives and say the firm's raw, natural pet food provides “notable health benefits" to pets, with more than 92 per cent of customers reporting an improvement in their dog within eight weeks.

Mr Scott, co-founder and chief executive, said they want to change the pet food industry.

"We are a mission-driven business and the funding will help us push ahead with marketing and educational activity around the benefits of feeding your dog and cat a diet that is raw and natural," he said.

“We’re doubling in size each year and we are on target to double again this year so this will help us achieve our goals and expand capacity at the factory.”

Revealing that the company is currently testing a new cat food product and also bringing out a new pet treat range, Mr Scott said that moving Bella & Duke's distribution operation to Inverkeithing will help the business become more efficient as the location is on the edge of Scotland’s key motorway network.

He added that the surge in pet ownership during the pandemic would help fuel further growth as pet owners were switching increasingly from mainstream brands to natural, nutritionally-beneficial pet food.

Graham Clarke, investor at BGF, said: “Providing consumers with high-quality raw pet food in a subscription-based model is proving a winning formula – and so we are delighted to be supporting Mark, Tony and the Bella & Duke team in their next phase of growth.

"We believe they are perfectly placed to deliver the new industry standard of consumer pet wellness in Great Britain.”

Venture partner at Mobeus, Matt Mead, said Bella & Duke offered “huge potential”, adding: “We’ve worked with the business for over a year now and have been impressed by the brand’s commitment to transforming the pet wellness sector.

"We’re excited to continue working closely with them to grow the business even further.”