Walkers reveals plans for new potato washing facility

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Walkers has purchased land to build a new potato washing facility
Walkers has purchased land to build a new potato washing facility

Related tags Ambient

Walkers Snack Foods has announced plans to build a new potato washing facility in Leicester, having agreed to purchase land from the city council for more than £3.5m.

Construction of the new building on land close to its main factory is conditional on planning permission and developer legal agreements, but could get underway this summer.

The new site would wash and grade potatoes from farms around the UK in one location, with this centralised operation reducing both the number of transport movements and the amount of water used to prepare the potatoes for processing. The facility is expected to create more than 40 new jobs.

Reducing food waste

When complete, it will also collect the soil that’s removed from the potatoes and return it to the fields. Walkers also planned to transform leftover potato peelings into fertiliser.

Commenting on the sale to Walkers, City mayor Peter Soulsby said: “Walkers Snack Foods are a long-established and important employer, so I’m delighted that this agreement will help them expand and consolidate their operations in Leicester.

“This site at Ashton Green is within an area allocated for employment land in our local plan and Walkers have offered us a very fair price, so it’s a great deal for Leicester on every level.

More accessible

As part of the terms of the land sale, a new estate road will be constructed to serve the new plant and open up access to adjoining land owned by the council at Ashton Green, creating future employment opportunities. The £2.25m road – which would be paid for by the city council – would include provision for cyclists and pedestrians too.

“The new facility will operate sustainably and create new jobs, while the new estate road will help us unlock the potential of further development land at Ashton Green that will lead to many more jobs for local people,” ​Soulsby added.

Related topics Ambient foods Operations

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