150 new jobs at ex-First Milk site

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Modern machinery will be installed at the site if planning permission is given
Modern machinery will be installed at the site if planning permission is given

Related tags Wales

Maelor Poultry plans to invest £10M in First Milk’s ex-Maelor cheese packing site near Wrexham, creating up to 150 new jobs.

Proposals to develop a modern poultry processing plant have been submitted by the company to Wrexham Council, with which the firm is working closely, it said.

“We anticipate an initial investment of up to £10M on this site to create a leading edge production facility,” ​a company spokesman said.

Looking for some time

The company had been looking to open the site for some time, said the spokesman.

“There will be investment in modernising the site and developing a state-of-the-art processing plant,” ​the spokesman added.

“The geographical location lends itself to such a facility by the proximity of numerous poultry farmers and a local hatchery.”

Plans submitted by Maelor show how it would redevelop the 60 year-old site to meet today’s sustainability standards.

Existing buildings and facilities would be used to accommodate new processing equipment, which could be operational by the end of next year, the firm stated.

Indirect jobs created

Indirect jobs would also be created as a result of the investment, as supply chain operations on the Welsh border, Shropshire and Cheshire would be opened.

“And of course, this area has a wealth of experienced food industry workers, who we hope will embrace the opportunity to be part of the next phase of this well-known site’s story,” ​the spokesman said.

First Milk announced plans to close its Maelor site in October last year after losing a major contract with Asda, which was 60% of the site’s business.

At the time, Tony Brady, Unite the union’s regional officer, said the closure of the site would “starve the already depressed local economy​ for much needed jobs”.

More than 230 jobs were put at risk and workers completed their final shift in March this year.

First Milk closed the site less than two years after making a £17M investment​ to expand its cold storage and maturation area in April 2012.

For details of thousands of jobs in the food and drink manufacturing industry, check out the new-look Foodmanjobs​, now easier than ever to use.

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