Ministers from the Welsh Assembly and the Mayor of Wrexham will visit a state of the art poultry processing plant in Wrexham next week as it becomes fully operational following an investment of more than £20m.
Lesley Griffiths AM, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning & Rural Affairs and Ken Skates AM, Cabinet Secretary for Economy & Transport, together with the Mayor of Wrexham Councillor John Pritchard, will tour Maelor Foods on Thursday, November 23.
They will officially open the facility that has been built on the site of the former First Milk factory that closed down in 2014. After an extensive period of planning, refurbishment and building, Maelor Foods will begin processing poultry towards the end of this year.
The new plant has already created more than 70 jobs and recruitment is on-going for new roles including senior management, skilled jobs in engineering, technical, butchery and administrative personnel and drivers along with production operatives. The plant will eventually employ more than 150 people and is also supporting employment in the supply chain as it takes on local farmers as suppliers.
The Welsh Government has assisted with the funding for the processing centre by awarding it a £3.15m grant from the Food Business Investment Scheme, which is designed to provide support to businesses that are involved in first and/or second stage processing activities.
This investment demonstrates the ambition of the Welsh Government to create and replace job losses within the local economy.
Maelor Foods is associated with Midlands-based Salisbury Poultry that was established in 1989 and is a leader in the UK’s poultry processing sector. The family owned firm employs more than 600 full-time staff at its base in Bilston in the West Midlands.
Managing Director Raj Mehta said: “The Ministers’ and Mayor’s visit will mark the culmination of an extensive refurbishment and extension programme, which has involved remodelling the existing buildings to create a state of the art poultry processing production and slaughtering facilities.
“The support of the Welsh Assembly helped to unlock the redevelopment of the site and fill the employment gap that was left when First Milk closed down so it will be great to illustrate how that funding has regenerated the area.”
Mehta said: “As well as creating jobs for local people during the refurbishment and with the new roles we are introducing, we are very pleased to be supporting the wider supply chain in the agriculture sector.
“We are actively looking for more farmers to supply us with birds as we head towards working at our operational capacity. We held two open days in October for farmers and received a very enthusiastic response from visitors who were very impressed with the facility and wanted to learn more about becoming Maelor suppliers.”