One year on from the devastating closure of S&A Foods’ Derby operation with the loss of 300 local jobs, Derby Enterprise Growth Fund (DEGF) is celebrating the news that its support has already led to the creation of over 500 new jobs. This is thanks to DEGF funding support for 2 Sisters Food Group which committed to a multi-million pound investment in the site following backing from the City Council managed fund.
Funding from DEGF will ultimately help to support 2 Sisters Food Group to create at least 500 new jobs in the city. The company bought the former S&A Foods site after it closed in 2015 and has invested in a state-of-the-art new manufacturing facility on the site, purchasing leading edge technology and equipment to produce new product ranges more efficiently; giving improved value and quality to its customers.
Support from DEGF has enabled the award winning company to totally redevelop the site and benefit from close proximity to an experienced and dedicated workforce. Manufacturing at the site re-commenced in April 2016 with the new plant producing bar-be-que, ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat poultry products. A large proportion of the workforce has been recruited from the local community including many former S&A employees.
DEGF was established as a £20 million recirculating grant and loan scheme, following a successful bid into the Regional Growth Fund. Derby City Council’s Economic Regeneration Team is proud to manage and deliver the fund and delighted that it is making a huge difference to the businesses supported and achieving fantastic results for the local economy.
Site Director, Geoff Allison, feels the DEGF was important in securing the best in class equipment for the food site.
“Investing in the plant at Derby has enabled us to introduce new ranges of high quality ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook chicken dishes in response to growing demand from the major supermarkets. The new technology we have introduced in the factory makes the facility the most advanced of its kind in Europe. It will become our platform for growth over the next decade and support the creation of sustainable new jobs”.
Derby City Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities and City Centre Regeneration, Councillor Martin Rawson, comments:
“Our funding scheme is one of the most successful of its type in the country. In this case, we have been able to maximise the opportunity created by the purchase of the failing factory. Supporting 2 Sisters to invest in the site has stimulated sustainable job creation.”
Cllr Rawson adds:
“The Council administration has been delighted to use the Fund to stimulate employment opportunities for local people.”
DEGF is now entering a new phase with the distribution of £12 million of recycled loan funding. Applications are invited from businesses with plans for growth and job creation in Derby and Derbyshire. Further funding is being sought to enable this fantastic scheme to be extended to more businesses in Derbyshire in the near future.
Published: Wednesday 4th January 2017