July 25 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, July 3, 2014
There are hopes that Suffolk’s food industry will be boosted with the creation of 200 jobs.
The 2 Sisters Food Group closed its factory at Haughley Park, Stowmarket, in December because the site was “unsustainable and unviable”, according to company chiefs.
But now Mid Suffolk District Council bosses have met with representatives from a new company expected to invest in the site.
2 Sisters was unable to comment on the proposals yesterday or say who had taken over the running of the factory infrastructure.
Elsewhere in Mid Suffolk, Ichiban UK, Europe’s biggest sushi manufacturer, has taken on 140 new staff since Christmas, according to a council report, at its Earl Stonham base.
Dave Benham, Mid Suffolk’s corporate manager for economic development and tourism, said he expected some five acres of the Haughley site to be sold with the rest refurbished.
He said: “It is totally surprising, the owner of Haughley Park said I do not know what they are doing but there’s some activity going on at part of the factory. We got a call from the agent (of the company involved) to tell us what they were up to, they said they were looking at having 200 people involved in poultry processing and look at disposing the rest of the site.
“It is very positive given what was said before that the site was not viable and would cost too much money to do anything with, it’s interesting.”
Ichiban’s factory is being heavily invested in, with the support of a £185,000 grant through the economic group, the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.
Rachel Eburne, councillor for Haughley said: “It’s great that the jobs have come back to the local area but obviously it’s not to the same level as the previous operation. It is still fantastic news if it’s reopening, bringing that amount of jobs.”
Around 450 people had worked at the 2 Sisters site, with an additional 250 agency staff.
Lesley Mayes, portfolio holder for the economy and Stowmarket regeneration at Mid Suffolk, said the new jobs in Haughley were being advertised through the job centre.
She said: “I think this should reduce the number of people who are out of work in Stowmarket which is not a great number anyway; it is a very low figure.”