Crisps manufacturer Kettle Foods will be investing £2.7 million in its Norwich site and develop a new potato intake building. The development is being funded with £1.7 million by the company itself, while almost £1 million is grant-funded through the Growth Programme of the Rural Development Programme for England, provided by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
With this occasion, Kettle Foods’ entire potato reception process will be relocated and upgraded to a new building on spare land adjacent to the existing factory; meaning that there will be almost no interruption to the current manufacturing.
Kettle Foods is the owner of the freehold of the Bowthorpe site, which will offer the manufacturer enough space for this development, as well as further expansion in the future.
As part of the project, there will be a new intake and grading building that includes a bulk trailer bay suitable for housing eight articulated potato trailers, together with new potato grading equipment installed to remove soil, stones and small potatoes. A barrel washing machine will be cleaning the potatoes delivered to site, while a water flume system will transport the checked and washed potatoes to the factory. Sampling and lab services will be conducted in the new building by a team from the Kettle Growers Group.
“Thirty years ago our founders set up the home in Norfolk to be as close as possible to our potato farmers and we still love using locally grown potatoes today. This new intake facility will enable us to expand so that Norwich remains the home of Kettle Foods for many more years to come,” said Ashley Hicks, Kettle Foods managing director.
Construction work is expected to start this summer and be completed within 12 months.
Kettle employs around 450 people and is currently worth almost £100 million at retail, being available in the UK and over 25 countries all over the world. This investment represents the biggest one since the site was expanded in 2011.