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Pizza manufacturer to invest £5.8m & create new jobs
Fermanagh-based bakery, Crust & Crumb, is to make a £5.8m investment that will allow the company to create 88 jobs and purchase new equipment to help increase the production of its pizza products.
Crust & Crumb manufactures chilled, frozen and gluten-free dough-based products and supplies these to supermarkets and foodservice customers in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain.
Invest NI has offered the company £502,600 of support towards job creation, equipment purchasing and marketing development activities. The roles, which will be recruited over the next three years, include general operatives, heath & safety and management roles.
Crust & Crumb’s Clive Gilpin, said: “This is a very exciting time for our company. In the last number of years, we have experienced exceptional growth, and throughout Covid-19, our sales have remained steady in our key markets of RoI and GB. This investment will help us strengthen our competitive position, scale our business, improve efficiencies, expand our current pizza portfolio and drive sales in new markets including Europe and Australia.
“We are also purchasing new equipment to enhance automation and extend our production and packaging areas with a new product development kitchen to develop a range of ‘on trend’ products.
“We initially used Invest NI’s R&D support to develop our gluten-free and protein pizza ranges. This support has been key in ensuring that we are constantly at the forefront of new trends and has helped us to secure major deals with leading retailers. Going forward, we remain focused on growing our share of the RoI and European pizza markets and the expansion of our team will help us to do this and create new pizza flavours that will appeal to a wider market.”
Economy minister, Diane Dodds, said: “Over the years, Crust & Crumb has demonstrated substantial growth across its business with its innovative approach to new product development. This investment is welcome news for the local Fermanagh & Omagh District Council area and once in place, the 88 new jobs will contribute over £2m in additional annual salaries for the local economy.
“This is the third announcement in a number of months by companies within Northern Ireland’s food & drink sector, which is particularly welcome after the sector was hard hit by Covid-19. Supported by Invest Northern Ireland, these projects will contribute almost £17m of investment and over 130 jobs in regional areas.”
Invest NI has worked in partnership with Crust & Crumb since 2012 to support it to grow its team and create jobs, develop new products and increase its exports.
Kevin Holland, Invest NI’s CEO, concluded: “Investing in innovation and growing sales outside of Northern Ireland is not only crucial to the growth of our economy but also business survival. By investing in innovation Crust & Crumb has been able to develop new products, grow sales and now it is investing significantly in equipment and people to increase production and target new markets.
“I am glad we are able to support the business at the different stages of its growth which will deliver both employment opportunities and boost the local economy.”