Rowan Foods in factory expansion

By Gwen Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Proposed plans (pictured) for the Rowan Foods site in Wrexham
Proposed plans (pictured) for the Rowan Foods site in Wrexham

Related tags: Meat & Seafood

Local councillors have shown support for the planned expansion of Rowan Foods' production facility in Wrexham, north Wales.

The 2,646m2 ​expansion of the factory would include new cold storage space, new offices and a workshop. A new access point creating a link to Ash Road South would also be created, in addition to 37 extra car parking spaces.

Previous consultations at the site included the proposed extension of existing cold storage space (granted 20 November 2018), as well as replacements to the effluent treatment plant (currently ongoing).

Councillor support

A report from Supporting Wrexham Council’s chief planning officer Lawrence Isted called the proposal a sustainable extension to the food business with significant economic benefits both during the build and once it is fully operational. The investment would also support the 897 jobs already at the factory.

He added: “There would be some loss of ecological mitigation land but the mitigation measures proposed are sufficient to offset any potential harm to biodiversity. The proposal is acceptable subject to conditions.”

Local councillors are set to vote on the application on 2 November.

A spokesman for Rowan Foods said: “Rowan Foods is pleased that this pre-covid planning application is progressing. It provides us with development options for the future, should we need them, allowing us to be as nimble as possible given anticipated fluctuations in future demand in the ready-meals sector.”

 Oscar Mayer jobs

Isted’s support for the planned expansion of Rowans Foods Wrexham comes as owner Oscar Mayer announced proposals to transfer production of supermarket own-label ready meals away from Chard in Somerset, putting 860 workers under threat of redundancy after managers ran out of options.

In a statement the company said the move followed the recent closure of the evening shift at the three Chard sites to improve efficiency in light of the impact on demand of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, poultry processor Avara Foods is to create 60 new jobs and increase productivity as part of a £11m investment into its Brackley, Northamptonshire site.

Site manager Claire Tarvit said this was the largest single investment in the Brackley site. Previous investments included £1m into new technology to fight campylobacter and £5m into a new dispatch hub in 2014.

Related topics: People & Skills

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