Ministers from the Welsh Government and the Mayor of Wrexham have welcomed the opening of a new £20m poultry processing plant in Wrexham that is creating around 150 jobs.
The state of the art facility will become fully operational later this year following the substantial investment by Maelor Foods. The project received £3.15m in funding through the Food Business Investment Scheme through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.
The plant has been developed on the 42-acre site of the former First Milk site following an extensive refurbishment and building programme.
Around 70 jobs have already been created with Maelor Foods ultimately expecting to employ more than 150 people. It is also supporting employment in the local supply chain as it takes on local farmers as supplier, which in turn supports employment in associated industries such as feed mills. It expects to process around 122 tonnes of poultry per day.
The plant was officially opened during a visit by Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs; Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy & Transport; and the Mayor of Wrexham, Councillor John Pritchard, on November 23.
Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, said: “It gives me great pleasure to be opening Maelor Foods’ new processing plant. Maelor Foods is an ambitious business that is set to play a leading role in the poultry industry. I am very pleased to see this new and innovative investment to redevelop the site of the old First Milk Creamery, which will see the creation of 150 new jobs and is supported through our Food Business Investment Scheme.
“Our Food and Drink Action Plan has a target to grow the Welsh food and drink sector to a value of £7billion by the year 2020 and I am confident the sector is now in a position to attain this.
“This has been achieved by putting business at the heart of all our plans in Wales. Inward investment by businesses such as Maelor Foods is a key factor in realising this ambitious target.”
Mayor of Wrexham Councillor John Pritchard said: “I am pleased to welcome Maelor Foods to their new premises here in Wrexham. It’s wonderful to see the redevelopment of the old site and the creation of new job opportunities in the County Borough.”
Maelor Foods is associated with Midlands-based Salisbury Poultry, one of the leaders in the UK’s poultry processing sector.
Managing Director Raj Mehta said: “We are very pleased that the our long term vision for Maelor Foods is becoming a reality. We have to thank the Welsh Assembly Government and Wrexham County Borough Council for their support in helping us to reach this point and bringing much needed employment back to the area.
“With our pedigree and experience in the sector, we have been able to develop a facility that will operate with the same ethos and high standard of service that we have built our reputation on. We have exciting plans for future growth that will bring more economical benefits to Wrexham and the Welsh economy.”