Enough turkey to feed 1.7m people

TALKING TURKEY: Operations manager Simon Clayton amongst the 250,000 turkeys.

TALKING TURKEY: Operations manager Simon Clayton amongst the 250,000 turkeys.

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If you fancy a turkey for Christmas, staff at Waitrose should be able to pluck one out of their store room for you.

In fact, they could pluck one from their staggering haul of the 250,000 ready-to-cook turkeys, ducks and geese which are being stored at their massive Lancashire distribution centre.

The £35m centre, on the Matrix business park, Buckshaw Village, near Chorley, houses a massive haul of turkeys that could potentially feed up to 1.7 million people.

The purpose-built Buckshaw Village distribution centre - opened last year - normally supplies every store across the North of England and Scotland.

But this Christmas its hoard of turkeys will go out across the entire country. Waitrose estimates that nationally in December it will sell more than 800,000 kilos of turkey .

The plant comprises a 360,000 sq ft warehouse, 50,000 sq ft of office space and a maintenance unit. It employs more than 400 people, plus agency staff, and from its strategic position in the north west serves 57 branches.

Its only branch in the immediate area is at Walton-le-Dale but it has plans to roll out more.

A Waitrose spokesman said: “We’ve made a significant investment in Lancashire and are here for the long-term.”

See Wednesday’s Lancashire Evening Post for a special feature on the distribution centre .