Proposed poultry processing plant for Suffolk

Two poultry companies are considering building the most advanced chicken processing plant in Suffolk handling two million birds a year.

The proposed plant, outlined in a scoping opinion document put together by agents Plandescil, would create up to 900 jobs in Suffolk, according to a report in the local press.

Banham Poultry and Vion, who are behind the joint venture on the former Eye airfield site, are said to be driven by a need to “rationalise and modernise” their existing facilities.

The report adds that “scoping opinion document has been distributed to stakeholders in advance of a planning application being submitted and seeks feedback on design and environmental issues.”

It comes just weeks after new company results showed a dramatic turnaround in Banham Poultry’s fortunes, following a restructuring at the top of the company.

The changes meant that the company was able to report a monthly profit last September for the first time in 18 months. Debts have been slashed and sales in the year to this September were up from £80m to £90m. Trading profit in 2008/09 is forecast to be more than £4m, as opposed to last year’s loss of nearly £2m.

As a result, the company has been shortlisted in the private company category in the Institute for Turnaround’s annual awards, with the winner due to be announced on 3 December.