RENOWNED Leicester Tigers and Yorkshire Carnegie rugby players George and Joe Ford have opened a new coffee shop in Uppermill's High Street, with the support of a £97,000 funding package from HSBC UK.

Located on the site of a former fish and chip restaurant, the Ford brothers have transformed the premises into Kobe Coffee, an independent café and restaurant serving ethically-sourced coffee and locally-supplied meat, fruit, veg and bread.

The brothers fit-out the new coffee shop, creating five new jobs in the process with plans to employ more staff across a variety of roles in the near future.

George Ford said: “With the bank's support we’ve been able to create an exciting business and a specialist coffee shop for the high street. We look forward to creating a friendly, sophisticated environment for everyone to enjoy, expertly crafted around a passion for coffee and food from across the region.”

Gregor Johnstone, relationship manager for Business Banking, HSBC UK, added: “It’s an exciting draw to have such a well-known sporting family bring a new hospitality offering to the region.

"George and Joe have worked incredibly hard to start their new business and Kobe Coffee is already demonstrating its potential for high quality service to its new customers.’’

Kobe Coffee partners with Outpost Coffee Roasters, an organisation that works with indigenous communities that are charged with protecting the South American Rainforest. Outpost provide support for growers with farming and processing practices.

This funding for coffee shop was part of HSBC UK’s £1.05 billion lending fund for small and medium-sized enterprises in the North West.