Peanut firm creates 200 jobs in town

By Liz HearnshawA £9million peanut factory is being built in an East Anglian town, creating more than 200 jobs, in what has been hailed as a “real coup”.

By Liz Hearnshaw

A £9million peanut factory is being built in an East Anglian town, creating more than 200 jobs, in what has been hailed as a “real coup”.

Work on Percy Dalton's new manufacturing headquarters at Haverhill Business Park has already begun and bosses are confident of completion during the early part of next year.

When the plan for the plant was first revealed, it was hoped the factory would create 100 jobs - but officials now said the figure would be closer to double that number.

Nick Martin, economic development manager for St Edmundsbury Borough Council, who suggested Haverhill to Percy Dalton as a potential new home, said: “This is a real coup for Suffolk.

“Percy Dalton is an established and respected name in the food industry and the deal represents one of the most substantial investments in the county this year.”

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The seven-acre site in Haverhill will house the company's offices and processing facilities. The move, due early next year, has been prompted after Percy Dalton outgrew its existing premises in Bow, London.

Michael Dalton, managing director of Percy Dalton, said: “It is going to be a wrench to move from Bow as we have been in London since 1931.

“So it was critical that we found a location where we were comfortable. Haverhill is ideal for us, with good infrastructure links, low crime rates and competitive employment costs.”

The company is investing £9m in the new buildings, which will be used to process and wrap nuts and dried fruits for supply to supermarkets around the country.

Jeremy Farthing, who represents Haverhill on St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “This is fantastic news. It is exactly the sort of thing we want - trying to encourage not only people to come and live in Haverhill, but the jobs to pay for these people to live there.

“Haverhill has traditionally been the town in Suffolk with the highest commuter ratio, with 20% of the population leaving every day to work elsewhere.

“Hopefully, this will reduce that figure and there will not be the same demand to jump into a car and drive many miles to seek work.”

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