Cook factory investment to create 200 jobs

By Dan Colombini

- Last updated on GMT

Perry: the expansion will see a new site built in Kent, initially creating 80 jobs
Perry: the expansion will see a new site built in Kent, initially creating 80 jobs

Related tags Finance Frozen food

Frozen food manufacturer Cook plans to create 200 jobs after securing a £16m funding package from HSBC UK to build a new 2,320m2 kitchen facility in Sittingbourne, Kent.

The new premises will be the company’s second location in the town and is expected to create 200 new jobs over the next few years, according to the business.

It would initially create 80 jobs for the surrounding community, propelling the future growth plans of the business, Cook claimed.

The new kitchen is close to Cook’s existing site on Eurolink Way. It is designed to increase its capacity to create its hand-prepared meals by more than 60% and boasts new freezing technology to improve efficiency and food quality.

Doubling sales

Edward Perry, co-chief executive officer of Cook, said: “Our existing kitchen facility is at full capacity, so we needed additional space to be able to achieve our plan of doubling our sales in five years.

“Our new site has given us total confidence that we will achieve our goal and, at the same time, allow us to continue to improve both our manufacturing process and products. It will also enable us to recruit 80 new members of staff initially, with a view to grow to a total headcount of 200 new staff over the next three to four years.”

Dan Russell, HSBC UK’s area director for north London corporate banking, added: “I’m confident that the company will use this as a platform for significant growth in the future and look forward to seeing what the team achieves.

Flexible solution

“Our corporate banking team, with relationship director Paul Hancox to the fore, have worked closely with Cook to provide a flexible solution for their needs.”

Founded in 1997, Cook now sells through 90 stores across the UK and in more than 500 concessions and is a certified B Corporation, a global standard for ethical business.

The deal was part of HSBC UK’s £14bn lending fund to support small and medium-sized enterprises in the UK.

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