A spokeswoman for the chilled foods firm told FoodManufacture.co.uk the factory it had just acquired was previously not a food factory, but a “light industrial facility”.
As a consequence, the company aims to invest an initial £3.1M in converting it and making it fit for purpose. New features will involve a test kitchen for developing and trialling new products.
Samworth Brothers has also declared plans to invest a further £7M in the operation over three years to grow the business once the new site is up and running. As part of the growth strategy, it intends to recruit 50 staff this year and another 100 after that.
Brooksby Foods was established towards the end of last year as a spin-off from Samworth Brothers’ Kettleby Foods ready meals division and is run by md Ian Arnold.
It makes ready meals for top supermarket chains including Tesco and Morrisons and now wants to branch out into fried and breaded products such as chicken kievs and fishcakes.
Brooksby Foods has an existing factory in Pate Road, Melton Mowbray, half a mile from the main Kettleby Foods site, and currently employs 215 people.
At the beginning of this year, Samworth Brothers announced separate plans to create up to 700 jobs at a new factory at Ashton Green in Leicestershire.
That factory is being built on a 50,000m2 greenfield plot of land close to Samworth Brothers’ Bradgate Bakery and Walkers Charnwood Bakery units.
At the time, a spokesman for Leicester City Council told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “The [land] deal has been struck on the condition that planning permission would be granted for a production facility.”