Supermarket chain Morrisons is to create around 200 jobs in Grimsby by starting its own seafood processing plant.
The Bradford-based company is taking over the former Kwoks factory in the town's Europarc business park which closed three years ago with the loss of 180 jobs.
Morrisons says the plant will be in production by the end of 2012. It claims the move will make it the only major food retailer to source fish direct from the quayside and process it for sale across the country.
The firm says it will start recruiting for the new posts at the factory in the near future. They will include managerial and factory jobs. It says it will be looking to fill the positions with suitable local candidates where possible.
– Dalton Philips, Chief Executive of Morrisons
Nobody else is buying direct from the quayside but we’re doing it. Building this seafood business will allow us to move our fish from ‘catch to kitchen’ even more quickly, giving our customers fantastic quality seafood products at stunning prices.
It is a shot in the arm for the local economy which Government Ministers admit is going through tough times.
Unemployment in North East Lincolnshire stands at more than 7,000 - the highest since the downturn began.
The proportion of local people aged 16 to 64 claiming Job Seekers Allowance has risen to 7.1 per cent, compared to 4.9 per cent for the Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire region as a whole.
– Greg Clark MP, Minister for Cities
Grimsby has been through tough times, but this news from Morrisons is a real vote of confidence in the economic future of the area.
Morrisons results are released on Thursday. Analysts say the group is expected to report a 6 per cent rise in underlying profits to £922million for the year to the end of January, on sales up 7 per cent to £17.6billion.