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Buchanans invest £1m in new Carrickfergus factory
WG Buchanan and Son has invested over £1m in a new stand-alone 12,000 sq. ft. factory for its growing nut business in Carrickfergus. The new specialist factory is in addition to its existing 25,000 sq. ft. purpose-built facility and will operate on neighbouring sites.
Since the new development, it has secured a new contract worth over £1m with a major UK buying group for the supply of dried fruit and nuts. The company, well-known to consumers as Buchanans, imports, packs and distributes rice, cereals, pulses, nuts and bakery ingredients, along with its renowned ‘soup mix’; the staple ingredient of traditional soups and broths.
Philip Johnston, director of operations at Buchanans, said: “Although our nut products were already packed using dedicated machinery and strict allergen controls within our existing site, we are always conscious of the concern over nut allergies, especially peanuts. To remove potential cross-contamination, we took the decision to invest in a new completely separate processing and warehousing plant, to provide even greater assurance to our consumers.
“I would like to thank Invest NI for its continued support throughout our journey so far. This substantial investment has already enabled us to grow sales in Great Britain, starting with a significant contract win, made possible by the increased capability our new factory has to offer. It will also provide additional capacity to grow our business in the Republic of Ireland, which is currently our biggest market outside the UK.”
Invest Northern Ireland offered the company £213,000 towards the factory build and the upgrading of machinery and equipment, to streamline its production process and increase efficiencies. The specialist factory will lead to the creation of 13 jobs.
John Hood, director of food & drink at Invest NI, added: “Buchanans is a well-established company, renowned for its quality, service, price and brand name. We have worked with it closely for many years, previously supporting its initial move to a 25,000 sq. ft. production facility at our Trooperslane Business Park in Carrickfergus.
“This recent support has helped Buchanans to develop a new stand-alone nut factory, complete with state-of-the-art processing and packing facilities, which has already led to substantial success in external markets. The 13 new jobs will contribute £225,000 in additional salaries to the Northern Ireland economy and is a great boost for the East Antrim area.”