Mars invests millions in Norfolk sauces site

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Uncle Ben's is one of Mars's billion dollar brands
Uncle Ben's is one of Mars's billion dollar brands

Related tags Multi-million pound investment Barack obama Us

Mars Food will expand its Norfolk King’s Lynn facility in a multi-million pound investment plan, following a £1.1bn trade partnership deal between the UK and the US.

The facility, which employs 200 people, manufactures Dolmio and Uncle Ben’s sauces and has been in operation for the past 50 years.

Although Mars would not specify exactly how much it would pump into the site or how many jobs the investment would create, a spokeswoman said: “Mars Food is proud to be investing in a multi-million pound expansion plan.

“We are currently in the early stages of planning, with site construction set to begin later in 2015, but the project is an extremely exciting one which will involve extending, refurbishing and modernising the facility at King’s Lynn.”

Boosting economies

The prime minister David Cameron announced Mars’s investment plans in a speech today, after meeting president Barack Obama in Washington to discuss ways of boosting both countries’ economies.

It is expected the trade deal will create 1,700 new jobs across UK businesses.

In a joint statement, Cameron and Obama said: “We’re supporting small businesses, expanding apprenticeships, improving education for all, and backing increases in the minimum wage.

“Over the past few years, our governments have worked closely to restore economic growth, improve our living standards and make sure families get the help they needed.”

The pair also committed to protecting both countries’ economies against another global downturn.

In a separate speech, David Cameron highlighted the importance of existing trade between the nations.

‘Over £6bn in one year’

“With UK exports to the US increasing by over £6bn in just one year and US companies employing a million people across the UK, our trade relationship remains one of the strongest in the world,” ​he said.

Food and drink exports between the US and the rest of Europe accounted for almost £12bn in 2012, according to trade body FoodDrinkEurope.

UK to US trade facts:

  • £22.6M worth of cheddar is exported to the US every year
  • £135M worth of gin exported to the US each year
  • £200M of Scottish salmon sold to the US every year

However, talks about boosting trade between the EU and the US through the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) have been ongoing since 2013.

In December, Members of the European Parliament held discussions in Brussels with the US in a bid to finalise the new deal with “non-tariff barriers” ​and “harmonised regulations”​.

The TTIP will also be debated by Members of Parliament in the House of Commons today (January 15).

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