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Factory investment by food company

PUBLISHED: 09:18 25 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:24 06 July 2010

A LOWESTOFT company has signalled its commitment to the fishing community after revealing plans to move into a £2.25m purpose-built factory in the town.

A LOWESTOFT company has signalled its commitment to the fishing community after revealing plans to move into a £2.25m purpose-built factory in the town.

The Sam Cole Food Group will create 10 new jobs and safeguard a further 40 existing jobs with its move to a new site at the South Lowestoft Industrial Estate.

The company will consolidate three of its existing businesses - Sam Cole Fish Merchants, Anglia Pre Packs and Capps Foods - at the building in Hadenham Road.

Forty per cent of the project has been provided by the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) and the Marine Fisheries Agency (MFA).

Managing director Sam Cole said: “This not only represents a massive financial commitment from ourselves, but also from the national and EU funds, not only to our business but to Lowestoft and the wider local fishing community. And to that end we want the new building to act as a focal point for the coastline of Suffolk and Norfolk.”

The group's application received substantial local and regional support.

“During the whole process we have been fantastically supported by Waveney District Council, whose economic development and planning offices enabled us to meet deadlines within the application. We have received cross-party support from Bob Blizzard (Waveney MP), who wrote a strong letter of support as well as lobbying our case in Westminster, and Geoffrey Van Orden (Conservative MEP, Eastern Region) who supported our application in writing and has recently been to the fish market to offer us further encouragement with the project,” added Mr Cole.

Mr Blizzard said: “This is an enterprising project that builds on Lowestoft's reputation for fish and food. It will create a state-of-the-art premises to take the companies forward to greater success.”

Mr Van Orden said: “I've been a very strong supporter of the fishing industry in the East of England and I am delighted to have been able to play a part in the success of this funding bid. This will create jobs, promote the local fishing industry and act as a real boost for the Lowestoft community.”

The group, which currently has 40 employees, intends to increase that to about 50 people on the new site, but expects the project will create further employment opportunities in the medium-term.

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