Pork producer Cranswick to create 100 jobs in Hull at former Fishgate auction house
MORE than 100 jobs are to be created in Hull thanks to a multi-million pound investment by an East Yorkshire pork producer.
Cranswick Country Foods has bought the building in William Wright Dock previously occupied by Hull’s purpose-built fish auction house, Fishgate.
The move comes after the company secured a contract with Asda worth more than £30m, which will see Cranswick named as the sole supplier of fresh pork to the supermarket giant.
The expansion, which sees the site renamed Cranswick Riverside, will initially see 100 to 120 jobs created.
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However, Chris Aldersley, managing director of the company’s fresh pork division, said he anticipated there would be further jobs in the pipeline.
He said: “We are proud to be investing into the city’s economy and to be in the position of opening up to 100 new vacancies to the local community.
“This is a significant contract win for Cranswick Country Foods and necessitated an expansion to accommodate the new business.
“The Fishgate building was an ideal facility for us to convert to retail packing due to having originally being built to a very high standard food processing facility.”
Cranswick Country Foods forms part of Cranswick plc and supplies premium pork products – sausage, bacon and cooked meats – to major supermarkets.
Over the past five years, Cranswick has made an annual investment of about £20m into new factories, making them some of the very best in the industry.
In January 2011, the company reopened its Preston processing plant after a £13m revamp.
The investment, which saw robotic technology used for the first time in a UK fresh pork facility, increased capacity by more than 50 per cent, making it one of the most advanced facilities of its kind in the UK.
Cranswick also secured approval in 2011 to export its products to the US, making it the first British food company to receive American accreditation in more than 15 years.
Fishgate was constructed on the city’s William Wright Dock in 2000.
The purpose-built auction house closed in June 2011 after a decision by its main Icelandic supplier to stop selling fish through the facility, ending a 150-year tradition of daily fish auctions being held in the city.
It has been gathering dust ever since. However, the 5,000sq m climate-controlled facility is now set to be transformed with the latest slicing, dicing and vacuum packing technology in preparation for work on the new Asda contract.
The sale of the auction house building was completed on Monday and the new facility is expected to open by the end of March.
“Now the sale is complete, we are moving in to convert the building into retail slicing, dicing and packing lines,” said Mr Aldersley.
“We will be heavily investing in new state-of-the-art machinery and this will be installed over the next six weeks.
“Recruitment will begin straight away and our plan is to have Cranswick Riverside up and running by the end of March.
“These new jobs are open to everyone and with a difficult jobs market, we believe this will give a real boost to the area.”