Abergavenny Fine Foods has opened a new £10 million manufacturing plant a year on from a devastating fire which led to the destruction of its main manufacturing site.
The Prince of Wales made a special visit to open the new site as part of his five day tour of Wales and took part in a tour of the new production facilities, as well as greeting the staff.
In July last year, 40 firemen and six fire crews from the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service attended the firmâs manufacturing plant in Blaenavon to bring the factory fire under control during a four hour battle.
No one was injured during the blaze, however the companyâs primary production site was reduced to ashes, devastating the business and putting all production in the future at risk.
Abergavenny Fine Foods Managing Director, Melanie Bowman, commented: The fire really was devastating. Overnight, our successful family business had been razed to the ground, but we knew that we couldnât give in.
For our employees and local suppliers and with our commitment to fulfilling our contracts with retailers, we knew the company had to move forward and quickly.
One week after the fire, the company had to relocate its 105 staff and surviving equipment to its plant in Abergavenny so that production could continue.
Within eight weeks the firmâs goats cheese production was re-established, which allowed Abergavenny Fine Foods to meet export orders for national retailers and continue providing its award winning soft goats cheese to consumers.
In November 2015 a 26-week planwas developed that would see a new manufacturing plant developed on the site of the fire. In December the steel frame was erected at the 6,300m2 plant and by March this year the company was bringing in the new production equipment.
Production began in Juneand was the new plant was officially opened by HRH Prince Wales on July 7.