ONE of East Lancashire's fastest growing businesses has completed a new round of funding that could lead to further expansion and thousands of new jobs.

The Modern Milkman, based in Pendle, says that the funding will be used to increase research and development.

In particular, it will be used to expand into new territories and develop new ways to package fresh groceries in return and reuse packaging.

Modern Milkman CEO Simon Mellin said: “We are focused on meeting the needs of consumers that are increasingly aware of sustainability issues and expect the businesses they engage with to be passionate about the same issues that they are.

"Rapid expansion has allowed us to make sustainable choices convenient and accessible to all.

"Our operational excellence, commitment to customer-centricity and an advanced digital platform has allowed us to capitalise on the radical shifts in consumer demand, and we are delighted to have one of the world’s leading VCs recognising our potential."

The Modern Milkman is an contemporary twist on the traditional milk round and delivering groceries in returnable and reusable packaging, all of which is plastic-free.

Its most recent funding round was led by private equity firm Insight Partners, with senior investment associate Brad Fiedler now joining the Modern Milkman's board of directors.

Insight Partners managing director Jeff Lieberman said: "Consumers are reassessing their consumption, and they expect the businesses they buy from to help them on that journey.

"The Modern Milkman combines a focus on great customer experience with a business model that is suited to significant expansion to meet the needs of customers across the UK and beyond, and we are delighted to be supporting the company on the next stage of its growth."

ETF Partners and investor Simon Murphy, who have both invested in the company previously, also participated in the round.

Investment manager Tomer Strikovsky said: "The Modern Milkman’s growth is due to to the team’s ability to meet rapidly changing consumer demands.

"We are delighted to be further involved in the company as it continues to help consumers be more sustainable."