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Gregor Leckie with business and life partner Sophie Easthope

Glasgow-based premium craft soft drinks producer Rapscallion Soda has increased production capacity and boosted its sustainability credentials following new equity funding in the business.

Backing from investors Jamie Matheson, Robert Wiseman and Hamish Grossart alongside support from Scottish Enterprise, Glasgow City Council and Business Gateway has led to an extensive modernisation of Rapscallion’s manufacturing facilities in the Gorbals.

This has seen the installation of new plant to speed up production and reduce reliance on food-grade carbon dioxide by almost two-thirds. The transformed site is now completely powered by renewable electricity and uses direct air capture to reduce its environmental impact.

Expansion of the business, which was founded as a pop-up in 2016 and is now targeting international markets, has been further helped by the recruitment of a management team and experienced board of directors.

Rapscallion says its plant-based, low-sugar soft drinks showcase “the best of what Scotland has to offer, sourcing the tastiest fruit picked at the peak of the season directly from farmers”.

Founder Gregor Leckie commented: “We are excited to have the backing of individuals with a proven track record of success and delighted with the support we have been granted from Glasgow City Council, Business Gateway Glasgow and Scottish Enterprise to help us reach our sustainable goals faster.

“This new machinery has allowed us to improve our core recipes and extend its shelf life to allow for export whilst remaining true to our ethos of extracting only the purest flavours from the freshest produce – whilst refusing artificial preservatives and concentrates.

“The drinks speak for themselves. We have a product designed for every palate and I am looking forward to developing the brand further afield. These are exciting times for Rapscallion.”

Rhona Allison, managing director of Scottish Enterprise, said: “Rapscallion Soda continues to go from strength to strength and Scottish Enterprise and partners at Business Gateway and Glasgow City Council are delighted to have supported Gregor and his fantastic team to help them on their journey. The investment in low carbon, sustainable production facilities alongside the introduction of new staff and directors will see Rapscallion reach its full potential and scale up to take advantage of opportunities in the UK market and beyond.”

Dominic Dowling, group manager for growth and economic development at Glasgow City Council, added: “I am delighted that Glasgow City Council’s business growth team has been able to support Rapscallion to grow and become more sustainable.

“Producing this independent craft soft drink in Glasgow will utilise the skills of the local workforce, whilst also creating additional employment opportunities. We are committed to supporting small and medium sized enterprises across Glasgow to achieve their growth aspirations.”