Major jobs boost for town

A SUFFOLK town is celebrating a major jobs boost after a leading employer announced a £45million investment plan.The distribution and packaging firm Prolog has announced the 17-acre site in the market town would keep Sudbury “at the epicentre of operations”.

A SUFFOLK town is celebrating a major jobs boost after a leading employer announced a £45million investment plan.

The distribution and packaging firm Prolog has announced the 17-acre site in the market town would keep Sudbury “at the epicentre of operations”.

It is expected the expansion will add 800 jobs across the three main fields of the company's business in call centres, warehousing and distribution.

Bosses believe the new facilities will ensure Sudbury can accommodate any future development.

Founded in Sudbury in 1980 the business has benefited from a strong community atmosphere in the market town, said managing director Robert Audley.

He said the move underlined Prolog's commitment to Sudbury which had always been the firm's first choice for expansion.

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“We are expanding across the board,” said Mr Audley. “We are delighted to get this land - this expansion is the most significant strategic move we have at the moment and it is going to fuel our development for the next five years.

“I would expect the minimum number of jobs created will be 500 but it could easily be 750 to 800 gradually built up over the next five years.

“Our expansion has always been dependent on where we would get land and permission to build but our first choice has always been Sudbury as our head offices are here.”

Mr Audley said he expected jobs in management and human resources would also become available but the eventual total would depend on which areas of the business develop faster than others.

The Sudbury chamber of commerce welcomed the move, which comes as a timely boost as the economy flags nationally.

“This is a great help to Sudbury - it is tremendous for the town and Suffolk,” said John McMillan , chamber of commerce president.

“Marks and Spencer are planning on moving one of their stores here and WHSmith are opening a bookstore in the high street as well.

“However, we did receive a blow when another major employer Grabor stopped trading last year and that was felt to be serious loss, so it is terrific to have Prolog expanding.”

Mr McMillan said that not only would the town benefit from the influx of jobs but that local suppliers and retailers would also do well.

The new facilities in Sudbury mark a remarkable rise in fortune at the Prolog - since 1991 pre-tax profits increased from £270,000 to over £6million.

Finance director Darshana Bawa said: “Prolog's consistent performance and uninterrupted growth is unrivalled in the marketplace. It has been achieved through a sustained policy of re-investment in infrastructure, technology and top class people.”

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