GRIMSBY has given a warm welcome to the new that Morrisons is to open a second fish processing plant in the town.
As reported yesterday the retailer confirmed that it was acquiring the former Kerry Foods ready meals plant, which has stood empty for over two years, with the aim of doubling its fresh production. Morrisons has some 500 superstores and 130 convenience stores spread throughout Britain and they will be served by the two Grimsby factories.
The company said the move would create many new jobs although it declined to put a figure on the precise number. However, analysts believe it could mean up to 200 new posts when the new site is fully up and running.
Steve Norton , chief executive of the Grimsby Fish Merchants Association, said: “This is excellent news for Grimsby and for the seafood sector. It will provide many welcome new jobs and well as strengthening Grimsby’s claim to be at the centre of fish processing in Europe.”
Mr Norton said the expansion would also help strengthen the FMA’s own new marketing strategy based around Seafood Grimsby and Humber which was launched a few months ago
Morrisons currently produces 250 tonnes of fish a week through the existing site. The purchase of the new facility will streamline and bring efficiencies to Morrisons processing as the space will form part of new packing, chilling and filleting divisions.
The current site stands at 35,000 square feet sq ft, the acquisition of the second site will increase the space to cover more than 120,000 sq ft.
Mark Harrison, Group Manufacturing Director, said: “Due to the success of our first site and the growing demand for fresh fish from our customers we are expanding our entire seafood manufacturing operation.
“Not only will we be able to supply a wider product range but we’ll also be increasing the number of skilled jobs available in the local area. The new space will mean we can manage the entire process of preparing fish ourselves and because that’s efficient we’ll be able to offer even better value to our customers.”
In addition to the two sites in Grimsby, Morrisons also opened a facility in 2014 at the Humberside Seafood Institute to service the supermarkets growing online and convenience services.
Ray Oxby, Grimsby’s regeneration portfolio holder said: ““Building a stronger economy is one of our key priorities and this is another step towards securing a brighter future for local people and local businesses. “We look forward to working with Morrisons and taking this development forward