Ministers from the Welsh Assembly have opened a new £20m state of the art poultry processing plant that will employ 150 people (Thursday 23 Nov).
Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs and Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport launched the new Maelor Foods plant in Wrexham, alongside Mayor Councillor John Pritchard.
The plant, which will begin processing poultry towards the end of the year, was built on the site of the former First Milk factory that closed 3 years ago. It will include a brand new 13,500 broiler per hour primary line – the first at this line speed in the UK.
Maelor Foods, a related company of Salisbury Poultry (Midlands) Ltd, selected Marel poultry to supply the plant. Marel Poultry is supplying a complete kill and evisceration department, incorporating fully automatic giblet and feet processing. Besides that, a Stork in-line air chilling tunnel and an elaborate grading line will be installed.
The plant will serve Salisbury Poultry’s Bilston factory in the West Midlands. Bilston cuts up carcases and debones them into portions.
Raj Mehta, Maelor Foods managing director, welcomed the support of the Welsh Government, which awarded the firm a £3.15m grant from its Food Business Investment Scheme, designed to provide support to firms that are involved in first and/or second stage processing 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.”
Mr Mehta added: “We are looking for more farmers to supply us with birds as we head towards working at our operational capacity. We held 2 open days in October for farmers and received a very enthusiastic response from visitors who were impressed with the facility and wanted to learn more about becoming Maelor suppliers.”