The investment is set to create up to 30 new skilled jobs in milling, engineering, product development and R&D.
Part of Fane Valley’s wider growth strategy, the planned development will be located within Invest NI lands zoned for industrial use as part of the Craigavon Area Plan 2010 (CAP) with the new site set to become an important catalyst for economic growth and regeneration.
The investment in the new facility, which is subject to planning approval, has been “driven by strong consumer trends that have shown increasing demand for sustainable plant-based foods across the markets which the company operates in”.
Commenting on the plans, Trevor Lockhart, Fane Valley Group Chief Executive Officer stated: “We are excited by the opportunities that our proposed new facility will deliver for our growth strategy to meet consumer demand and support investment and job creation.
“The new state-of-the-art plant will harness the latest innovations within agri-food research, development and processing helping the business to deliver new products.
“Fane Valley has been operating for well over a century now and our ability to adapt to market conditions has formed the basis of our sustained success. This project will help to future proof our business and ensure we continue on an upward trajectory of growth.”
Fane Valley has begun pre-application community consultation to seek views on its proposed plans which can be viewed at www.aikenpr.info/planning-fanevalley.
If planning permission is approved, construction work will begin on site in 2022 with the facility expected to be fully operational by late 2023.
Upper Bann DUP MP Carla Lockhart said the plan represents a major boost for the local job market, and another signal that the area is seen as a prime location for investment.
She said: “The proposal seeks to expand the company’s oat milling capabilities at their subsidiary White’s Speedicook located in Tandragee.
“The new facility forms part of Fane Valley’s wider growth strategy which, through continued investment in its technology and people, has helped to establish the company as a market leader in the agri-food sector across the island of Ireland.”
Speaking following a meeting with Fane Valley Chief Executive, Trevor Lockhart, Carla said: “I have met with Fane Valley and been appraised of their plans for a new facility at Craigavon. This is an exciting development, and reflects the commitment the company has to the local area and local workforce.
“We have a strong agri-food industry in Upper Bann and the addition of this oats processing and storage facility would be welcome addition. We have lost manufacturing jobs due to the pandemic, and job creation of over 30 new skilled jobs in milling, engineering, product development and R&D will be very welcome.
“It is clear that their planned investment in Craigavon has been driven by consumer trends with increasing demand for sustainable plant-based foods. The plans will be inclusive of a mill, silos, warehousing, offices, R&D centre and ancillary areas, and the facility will host the latest innovations within agri-food research, development and processing helping the business to deliver new products and offering development opportunities to Northern Ireland arable growers and other related sectors.
“In recent days they have submitted their PAN to ABC Council and it is their intention to carry out a significant community engagement piece with residents in the locality of the new facility. I will be giving my support to the project and will work with Fane Valley through this process and trust that the application will be favourable to Council planners.”
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