UK food producer Grampian Country Food Group has announced a £16m (US$30.3m) re-development and expansion of its pork processing business at Broxburn, near Edinburgh.

The plan, which also involves closing its plant at Buckie,  is its largest ever single investment in Scotland, it said. .

Grampian aims to create a centre of excellence for both pork processing and sausage production at Broxburn, enabling the business to maintain and grow its position in an increasingly competitive market place.

It is proposed to re-locate the pork processing operations at Buckie, Morayshire, and part of the sausage manufacturing operations at Elmswell, Suffolk to Broxburn where increased throughput and production will create 200 new full-time jobs.

Grampian anticipates the re-development and consolidation of the new business will be completed by the end of October 2005.

“This is a significant investment which creates an opportunity for us to consolidate and add value to our Scottish pork business,” said Stephen Heslop, regional director for Grampian’s Scottish pork operations. “As the major processor in Scotland, our focus on a dedicated and expanded plant at Broxburn will help safeguard the future of the Scottish pig herd and we look forward to continuing our close relationship with producers.”

“Regrettably, we are also announcing at this time the proposed closure of our Buckie facility and although we are creating new employment at Broxburn, there will be a net job loss within the group,” he said.

Buckie currently employs 330 people. Grampian will be consulting with employees and their nominated representatives to explore ways of avoiding redundancy, including securing alternative employment either within the business or with companies in the locality.

The Broxburn workforce will now be expanded to 1,060 with the plant scheduled to increase the number of pigs processed per week. Production will include bacon, sausages, black pudding, haggis and a range of other pork products.