Metcalfe awaits council verdict on factory plans

Metcalfe Catering Equipment is facing the prospect of having to relocate its business if it can’t secure planning permission to expand the site that currently houses its manufacturing and distribution operations.

The food prep equipment specialist, which employs 25 people, has recorded strong growth in recent years and now wants to expand the company as part of a move that would create additional jobs.

Metcalfe’s intention is to build a state-of-the-art warehouse that will allow it to increase storage space, upgrade its manufacturing processes and position the business for future expansion.

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Formal plans for expanding the site at Blaenau Ffestiniog in North Wales are now with Gwynedd Council.

Managing director Neil Richards has his fingers crossed that the project will get the green light or the company’s only option might be to move elsewhere.

He told the Daily Post: “We have thought long and hard about our options and this included moving to alternative sites but we have a loyal staff here and as a company we are very committed to this town, which needs opportunities like these,” he told the Daily Post. “That is why we have now submitted a plan to expand here by building a warehouse facility next to the plant.”

Richards said an expanded premises was needed to service its manufacturing and distribution businesses, which had both grown off the back of work it has done with dealers around the UK. If it does get the go-ahead, Metcalfe will make a “six-figure investment” in the site.

“It is a competitive market and we need to streamline our operations and we need suitable premises to do this,” he continued.

“Ideally this will be at the current site and hopefully we will receive planning permission. If we don’t then we would have to look at alternative sites away from this immediate area but we really want to stay here, for us it is vitally important that we are creating opportunities in this community.”

Metcalfe was founded in 1928 but back then it was based in Coventry. It moved to Wales in the Fifties and has been there ever since. Some of its current staff are the third generation of local families who have worked for the business.

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