Nearly 400 jobs could be created as Cranswick reveals plans for £54 million chicken processing plant in Eye

Crown Chicken Kenninghall are expanding their site with �13M investment.
Crown Chicken Kenninghall are expanding their site with �13M investment.

Hundreds of new jobs are set to be created in the Diss Express area after plans for a new £54 million chicken processing plant in Eye were unveiled.

The announcement from Cranswick formed part of their interim results for six months up to the end of September – with revenue ahead by 23 per cent, to £714.6 million.

This class-leading facility, which is scheduled for completion in late 2019, will double our existing capacity with further room for expansion

Adam Couch, chief executive officer, Cranswick

Adjusted profit before tax was up to £44.4 million.

The 18,000 square metre processing factory will be built on a 40 acre site in Eye.

It is due to be completed in late 2019 – subject to planning permission being secured.

And investment of £13 million at the site in Kenninghall, acquired when Cranswick purchased Crown Chicken last year, was also confirmed.

It will see expansion of existing milling, hatchery and rearing operations, and double processing capacity.

Adam Couch, chief executive officer, said the firm had already invested a record £29 million into their infrastructure in the first half of the year.

The number of employees at the Eye facility could be increased from 230 to 600 if it goes ahead.

“This class-leading facility, which is scheduled for completion in late 2019, will double our existing capacity with further room for expansion,” he said.

“The facility will incorporate the highest animal welfare standards and latest generation production techniques and equipment to drive operational efficiency gains.

“We also plan to upscale our feed mill and hatchery operations to maintain our fully integrated supply chain model.

“During the period we have strengthened our asset base, enhanced market positions and developed new customer relationships.

“We continue to make good progress against each of our strategic objectives and we are well placed to continue our successful development in the current financial year and going forward.”