Mars Food UK is set to invest £23m into its King’s Lynn manufacturing site.
The announcement was made during the official opening of its new £6m office facilities by The Rt. Hon. Elizabeth Truss – Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), MP for South West Norfolk.
The King’s Lynn site, which currently employs nearly 300 people, will create 28 new full-time jobs as part of the investment in new manufacturing capabilities for the manufacture of Uncle Ben’s Ready to Heat rice.
The new production line is expected to be completed early in 2017 and will help meet the demand for Uncle Ben’s Ready to Heat rice across the UK market.
The investment reconfirms Mars Food UK’s commitment to the local community in King’s Lynn in which it has a 53-year history. It comes on the back of a £6m investment in the new modern office facilities made in 2015.
Commenting on the investment, Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said: “Around the world, Britain is rightly seen as a great place to invest with our £100bn food and drink industry renowned for high quality produce and forward looking innovation.
“This significant investment by Mars is a real vote of confidence in Britain as a place to do business, creating jobs locally and helping drive economic growth for the nation.”
The new office facilities opened by Truss includes a ‘living green roof’, gymnasium and canteen, as well as meeting rooms aimed at helping boost employees’ wellbeing and engagement at work.
The space has been designed to attain the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification.
Innovative solutions have been incorporated into the facility’s design and construction to reduce energy and water use and to manage waste as sustainably as possible.
Michael Ryan, Regional President, Mars Food, Western Europe & Russia, added: “We have been manufacturing from this site for more than 50 years and continue our commitment to investing and growing the site which manufactures some of the UK’s favourite family brands – Uncle Ben’s and Dolmio.”