Factory general manager Rob James and Marc Heading of Gerald Heading & Sons – the farming enterprise that supplies peas to the site – opened the new facility.
“This is a hugely significant milestone in our £80m investment programme at Long Sutton, and we are very pleased to have delivered the new pea plant both ahead of schedule and in time for the start of the busy pea season in Lincolnshire,” said Andy Hargraves, programme director at Princes.
Heading added: “It’s an honour to be involved in the opening of this impressive new pea plant at Long Sutton. We have been growing peas in the local area for over 50 years since my grandfather ran the business, and we are very proud to continue our relationship with the site as it enters the next stage of its growth and development.”
The core investment project at Long Sutton is worth over £63m and is set to continue over a two-year period, during which the factory will remain fully operational.
The project entails the refurbishment and development of significant aspects of the site. There are plans for a new raw material warehouse and handling facility, a new ingredients processing kitchen and a flexible production line for canned ready meals.
A further £17m is being invested in capital projects over the same period. These include a replacement hydrostat cooker, a soft water plant and new anaerobic digester, which processes waste into biodegradable material, as well as the implementation of a new IT system. This represents a total investment in the site of £80m over the next 18 months.
Princes recently completed a £4m investment in new staff welfare facilities, a canteen and improved office spaces for employees at the site.