Abattoir plans £15m expansion in Bamber Bridge to safeguard 730 jobs

A huge abattoir in Bamber Bridge is planning a £15m expansion to further safeguard the jobs of its 730 staff.

By Brian Ellis
Tuesday, 8th February 2022, 5:10 pm

Dunbia has applied for planning permission for a new beef chilling unit and other modernisation works on its site at Walton Summit to add to the £20m it has already spent there in the past two years.

The plans will go before South Ribble' s planning committee on Thursday, with councillors advised to give them the thumbs up.

The plant, which processes cattle and sheep, is bounded by Church Road and the M65 motorway. It is one of 12 Dunbia sites in the UK and one of the biggest employers in the area.

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The Dunbia plant employs 730 people locally.

The Northern Ireland based company says this latest scheme is the third phase of a £35m modernisation and rationalisation programme "giving security to the existing 730 jobs at Dunbia."

A report to the planning committee adds: "Dunbia has invested over £20m in the last two years on this site. The scheme is part of that commitment and adds another £15m in investment.

"This investment secures existing jobs on the site and will create a further 100-plus construction jobs that may arise from this phase on investment (over 12 months)."

The work will involve erecting the new beef chiller unit, adding new lairage buildings for animals to be rested before slaughter, adding an extension to another building on the site and raising the roof on an existing refrigeration unit following the demolition of a storage shed and existing lairage spaces.

£20m has already been invested in the abattoir in the last two years.

Dunbia says the new chilling unit will not only allow them to age beef for longer - thus improving the quality of the end product - but it will avoid the need to transport products off-site for intermediate storage before delivering it back to the retail packing plant for further processing.

One objection to the scheme has been received from a householder living 240-metres away in Reedfield Place, raising issues with the potential for added noise, smells and pollution.

Council officers have responded by saying: "The application however is not one of expansion but the modernisation and rationalisation of existing processes on the site.

"With no additional traffic, modern buildings and streamlined processes on the site a significant reduction in carbon footprint is anticipated."

A new beef chiller unit would eliminate the need to transport meat off-site for storage and then back to the retail packing plant.