The food manufacturing giant has made a deal with Leicester City Council to buy 50,000m2 of greenfield land at Ashton Green, North Leicester.
A spokesman for Leicester City Council told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “The deal has been struck on the condition that planning permission will be granted for a production facility.”
Samworth Brothers’ new chief executive Lindsey Pownall said the factory would not be open until at least 2014.
200 new jobs
It would create 200 new jobs initially and 500 more could eventually follow.
Pownall said: “The land is close to Bradgate Bakery and Walkers Charnwood Bakery, which stand next to each other in Madeline Road.
“It provides a site if we feel there’s a market. It wouldn’t come to fruition until at least 2014.”
She said the site would produce chilled food but said it was too early to be specific about the nature of the products that would be manufactured at the site.
City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “This is excellent news for the city at a time of severe economic downturn.
“Attracting businesses to bring new jobs and economic regeneration to the area will be vital to its success. At a time when every job created really counts, I am delighted that we have now agreed a deal with an important local employer that will really kick-start this process.”
Samworth Brothers makes own-label and branded chilled food, including sandwiches and salads, ready meals, savoury pastries, sausages and cooked meats and cakes and desserts. Its brands include Ginsters, Blueberry Foods and Walkers pies.
It runs nine production and distribution facilities in Leicestershire and four in Cornwall.
One of its existing Leicestershire facilities is on an industrial park in Beaumont Leys, which is close to the location of the new factory.
Samworth’s Walkers Charwood Bakery in Beaumont Leys makes own-label and branded pies for many of the UK’s leading retailers, including Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Sainsbury and Morrisons.
Last month (December) the food group announced further plans for expansion with the launch of a new business unit called Brooksby Foods.
Brooksby Foods was part of a Samworth Brothers ready meal manufacturer called Kettleby Foods. It has now been spun off as a separate business.
Pownall said the move was an example of the food giant’s plans to grow “sensibly and responsibly”.