Welsh Government ministers and local politicians have welcomed the opening of a new £20 million poultry processing plant at Wrexham, North Wales. The Maelor Foods plant, which will create around 150 jobs, has been developed on a 42-acre site previously occupied by First Milk. It is to become fully operational later this year.

The new facility will process around 122 tonnes of poultry per day. As well as a substantial investment from Maelor Foods, it attracted £3.15m in funding through the Food Business Investment Scheme via the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

At the opening ceremony, Leslie Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, said: “It gives me great pleasure to be opening Maelor Foods’ new processing plant. Maelor Foods is an ambitious business that is set to play a leading role in the poultry industry. I am very pleased to see this new and innovative investment to redevelop the site of the old First Milk Creamery, which will see the creation of 150 new jobs and is supported through our Food Business Investment Scheme.

“Our Food and Drink Action Plan has a target to grow the Welsh food and drink sector to a value of £7 billion by the year 2020 and I am confident the sector is now in a position to attain this. It has been achieved by putting business at the heart of all our plans in Wales. Inward investment by businesses such as Maelor Foods is a key factor in realising this ambitious target.”

Maelor Foods managing director Raj Mehta responded: “We are very pleased that our long-term vision for Maelor Foods is becoming a reality. We have to thank the Welsh Assembly Government and Wrexham County Borough Council for their support in helping us to reach this point and bringing much needed employment back to the area.

“With our pedigree and experience in the sector, we have been able to develop a facility that will operate with the same ethos and high standard of service that we have built our reputation on. We have exciting plans for future growth that will bring more economical benefits to Wrexham and the Welsh economy.”