Dutch food group Vion has invested in a learning centre at its pork processing facility in the Scottish town of Broxburn.

The investment is expected to create up to 250 jobs at the Broxburn site in West Lothian. Vion said it wanted to establish a “centre of excellence for fresh manufacturing” at the facility, which is the largest pork processing site in Scotland.

Ton Christiaanse, chief executive of Vion’s UK operations, said: “Partnerships are the basis for business success and we especially value the support and expertise of Scottish Enterprise and Skills Development Scotland. This investment not only demonstrates our confidence in the Hall’s site, but also in the Scottish pig farming sector who are key partner suppliers to our business.” 

Vion has been awarded almost GBP2m (US$3.1m) of grant funding from Scottish Enterprise and Skills Development Scotland.

“I know that the West Lothian site was up against competition from elsewhere and securing the contract for the Centre of Excellence is also a major vote of confidence in Scottish training and learning,” Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said yesterday (22 September).

The announcement comes only a month after Vion announced plans to restructure its loss-making processing plant in Coupar Angus in Scotland, which has put 115 jobs at risk.

A spokesperson for the company said with regards to the 115 proposed job losses reported last month that “In August 2009 the site employed less than 600 people but there were more than 1100 workers in 2011, representing an increase of more than 60% of the workforce.”