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.”
He said contracts are being drawn up and will be exchanged within the next couple of months. Leicester City Council expects that Samworth Brothers will apply for planning permission for a new production facility in 2013 and could potentially be on site from early 2014.
Samworth Brothers refused to confirm the nature of the manufacturing that would take place at the site. It also declined to say whether it would be transferring existing production to the site or setting up an entirely new business.
Leicester City Council has confirmed that the project will create new jobs but was unable to say how many.
City mayor Peter Soulsby said: “This is excellent news for the city. 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 produces own-label and branded chilled foods including sandwiches and salads, ready meals, savoury pastries, sausages and cooked meats and desserts and cakes. 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 Leyes, which is close to the location of the new factory.
Sainsbury and Morrisons
Samworth’s Walkers Charnwood Bakery in Beaumont Leyes makes own-label and branded pies for many of the UK’s leading retailers including Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Sainsbury and Morrisons.
It is one of the country’s few bakeries that specialises in the production of the Authentic Melton Mowbray Pork Pie.
Leicester City Council has given the go-ahead for the construction of a new highway access to open up the greenfield site.
It has secured cash from the government’s Growing Places fund to design and build the new road.
Planning permission for the highway project was granted in October, and a start-on-site is planned for early December 2012.
There will also be a development to create thousands of new homes on the site.