Avara Foods is spending record sums at its processing site at Brackley, Northamptonshire. A total of over £11m is being invested in state-of-the-art technology and equipment, along with a major upgrade to staff facilities. New jobs will also be created.
The bulk of the investment centred around equipping and fitting out a new packing hall to improve product throughput. New conveyors, automated handling systems and an ergonomic workspace design are all being installed. This investment in technology is aligned with skills development underpinned by Avara’s extensive apprentice programmes and manufacturing career pathways. The site, which employees over 750 people, features some of the most advanced food manufacturing technology in Europe.
Further work is being undertaken to create superb staff facilities including a modern canteen, and refurbished changing areas, lockers and shared working spaces. The kitchens will be extended and refitted, and the reception area renovated. Trusted local contractors have been employed to carry out some of the works and the project’s architects are based in Milton Keynes. This aspect of the site-wide investment programme is due to be completed in Spring 2021.
These investments have created new roles across many areas of the site’s functions, with over 60 vacancies in production, hygiene, quality control currently open, and drivers and forklift drivers also sought.
“This is the largest single investment we’ve ever made at Brackley and it’s an exciting step forwards for the company,” said Claire Tarvit, site manager at Avara Foods, Brackley. “We firmly believe steady investment in our people, facilities and technology is the best way to sustain growth and offer our people greater career opportunities; the automation of certain processes allows greater opportunities for more skilled roles in maintaining and monitoring equipment performance. COVID-19 has changed the way we work, but we’re proud to continue feeding the nation during these challenging times. We’ve implemented strict safety controls and distancing policies throughout the site, keeping our colleagues safe as they work. We’re really looking forward to welcoming new people to the company, as these exciting improvements are completed at our Brackley plant.”
Andy Dawkins, chief executive officer at Avara Foods commented, “We’ve had a home in Brackley since the early ‘70s, and this planned investment is proof of our long-term commitment to both our people and customers. We plan to spend over £100m on improving our British operations over the next three years.”