UK chilled foods firm Samworth Brothers is to create up to 70 jobs through the opening of a factory in Melton.

The facility will supply a healthier range of ready meals to retail giant Tesco, the company said today (8 August). Around GBP4m (US$6.6m) was spent on the refurbishment of the plant, which was an old engineering site.

The facility is now operating permanently and recently launched a Flash in the Pan range with Tesco. More ranges are set to be launched by the firm over the coming months.

“We bought the Pate Road site about two years ago and started to refurbish it ready to open a ready meals site but we shelved it,” said Samworth Brothers chief executive Brian Stein. “During the tail end of last year, it started to be used as an overflow site for Kettleby Foods when they were very busy. We’ve now opened the site permanently and I think by the end of the year we will have 70 permanent staff.”

Stein said the company is starting to see “reasonable growth again” in the ready meals market after a slow down in growth in the last few years.