UK food manufacturer 2 Sisters Food Group plans to invest GBP30m (US$48m) in opening a factory in Thetford, Norfolk.

The manufacturer said today (14 February) that the coated protein factory will act as a “platform for growth” for its prepared foods division over the next decade and will open in spring 2011.

Speaking about the move, 2 Sisters UK managing director Eddie Power said: “We are very excited about the prospect of opening our new Thetford factory. This will enable us to offer customers an exciting new range of healthy and nutritious coated food products, alongside our existing bestselling lines.”

He added that the site will be highly automated with technological and environmental advances that will “set the standard in sustainable design and environmental performance”.

“We believe we are the first food business to open a new coated protein factory of this scale in the UK for almost 10 years. Our aim is to deliver significant environmental benefits as well as revolutionise the production of coated foods available in the UK,” said Power.

The company plans to employ 100 people when the factory opens, adding that it sees the potential for a further 200 jobs in the future.