Maelor Foods opens Wrexham chicken factory

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

Inside Maelor's new chicken processing plant in Wrexham
Inside Maelor's new chicken processing plant in Wrexham

Related tags Wales

Maelor Foods’s new £20M poultry processing plant in Wrexham will be officially opened by ministers from the Welsh Assembly and the Mayor of Wrexham tomorrow (November 23).

Cabinet secretary for energy, planning and rural affairs Lesley Griffiths and cabinet secretary for economy and transport Ken Skates, will join the Mayor of Wrexham councillor John Pritchard on Thursday November 23 for a tour of the new facility.

The factory has been built on the site of the former First Milk factory that closed down in 2014. After an extensive period of planning, refurbishment and building, Maelor Foods will begin processing poultry towards the end of this year.

Recruitment is underway

The new plant has already created more than 70 jobs and recruitment is underway for new roles including senior management, skilled jobs in engineering, technical, butchery and administrative personnel and drivers along with production staff.

The plant will eventually employ more than 150 people and is also supporting employment in the supply chain as it takes on local farmers as suppliers.

The Welsh government assisted with the funding for the factory by awarding it a £3.15M grant from the Food Business Investment Scheme, which is designed to provide support to businesses that are involved in first and/or second stage processing activities.

This investment formed part of the Welsh government’s strategy of replacing job losses within the local economy.

Maelor Foods is associated with Midlands-based Salisbury Poultry, which was set up in 1989. The family-owned firm employs more than 600 full-time staff at its base in Bilston in the West Midlands.

Extensive refurbishment

Maelor’s md Raj Mehta said: “The ministers’ and mayor’s visit will mark the culmination of an extensive refurbishment and extension programme, which has involved remodelling the existing buildings to create a state-of-the-art poultry processing production and slaughtering facilities.

“The support of the Welsh Assembly helped to unlock the redevelopment of the site and fill the employment gap that was left when First Milk closed down, so it will be great to illustrate how that funding has regenerated the area.”

Mehta added: “As well as creating jobs for local people during the refurbishment and with the new roles we are introducing, we are very pleased to be supporting the wider supply chain in the agriculture sector.”

The company is seeking more farmers to supply it with birds as it gears up to its full operational capacity.

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