A food company is to spend £18.5m to expand and create dozens of new jobs in Burton Latimer.
Plant-based food firm Alpro, whose UK base is in the Latimer Business Park on the outskirts of the town, has announced the recruitment drive as part of a multi-million pound investment.
The Belgian company which makes drinks, yoghurts and desserts from soya, almonds, rice and other alternatives to dairy items, has this week started recruitment for 30 new jobs as part of an £18.5 million investment to double production capacity.
The company is also investing in its site in Wevelgem, Belgium, after increasing sales.
And Alpro also says it is convinced even more jobs will be created in Burton Latimer in the coming years.
Cllr Derek Zanger, a member of Kettering Borough Council’s executive committee and a councillor for the Burton Latimer ward, welcomed the Alpro announcement.
He said: “It’s brilliant news as far as we are concerned in the borough and in Burton Latimer.
“The creation of more jobs by a company that intends to extend and improve their base in the area shows the confidence not just in the local economy, but in the national one.”
Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Northamptonshire Chamber, added: “It’s great news to hear that Northamptonshire Chamber member Alpro is committed to investing in its existing UK site. Such investment will bring huge benefits by boosting employment and providing new skills in the county.
“Alpro is a great example of a firm doing well and as the economy strengthens, more companies will continue to grow and this will in turn create more job opportunities locally.
“This has been supported by the feedback from our Quarterly Economic Survey which has shown Northamptonshire firms are recruiting and confidence is high amongst companies.”
The site will receive an £18.5 million investment for a new building and new equipment including storage tanks, sterilisers, filling machines, packaging machines and robots. About 30 new employees will be recruited over the next 18 months and Alpro expects to hire up to 15 more over the following years as the volumes increase.
That increase will be achieved by on-site production of the almond and hazelnut drink. Coconut, rice and oat drinks will also eventually be produced at the site.
Alpro expects to double the output of the site from 75 million litres per year to about 150 million litres.