Grain site will help save jobs in county

A £12m storage facility will help safeguard many county jobs when it opens, its operators have said.

Farmer-owned mutual firm Camgrain is building a processing centre in Kettering to supply grain to several big-name firms, including Sainsbury’s, Whitworths, Hovis, Weetabix and Nestle.

About 10 people will be employed at the site, which the company says will safeguard jobs at major firms in Northamptonshire such as Weetabix and Hovis.

The facility is being built on land sold to the company by the Boughton House estate, next to the A6003 where the roundabout for the new Corby link road will be built.

Work started on the 48-acre site in March and it will be open in time for this year’s harvest.

Camgrain director John Latham said: “The important thing when you speak to customers is they are aware they are in a competitive environment, and what we are trying to do is create a really efficient supply chain.

“We are here to support businesses that employ large numbers of people in Northamptonshire and protect what they have got.

“For us to come here is strategic for British farming. The area has been crying out for this for years.”

The project has been awarded a £4.39m grant from the Rural Development Programme for England funded jointly by the European Union and DEFRA.

And the significance of the site is its location, as within a radius of 25 miles there is annual consumer demand for more than 1.25 million tonnes of combinable crops.

The site will run 24 hours a day and lorries will only be on site for between five and 10 minutes per load.

So far 40 farmers have invested in the project, and up to 80 will have by the time it is complete.

The rejection rate of produce from Camgrain is currently zero per cent, and no load has ever been rejected.

The site will be marketed by grain co-operative Openfield.

Openfield’s head of central stores Rob Sanderson said: “The site is ideally placed adjacent to the new Corby link road, construction of which gets under way shortly.

“A new roundabout is to be built directly in front of the site as part of this new road.

“From here the site has trunk road access onto the A14 linking East Anglia with the Midlands. This is a significant development for Openfield.”