Posted on Monday 13 May 2013 by Ulster Business

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Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster meets with Trevor Lockhart, Chairman, and Gerry McGuire, Managing Director at Linden Foods.

Dungannon-based meat processor Linden Foods has announced a £5.6m investment, backed by Invest NI, which will see the company create 179 new production and management jobs.

Linden Foods, which is a subsidiary of Fane Valley Co-operative Society, sources and processes beef and lamb for a range of retail multiples, convenience food manufacturers and the wider meat packing industry in the UK and Europe.

Two years ago Linden Foods opened a new purpose-built facility adjacent to the company's main processing site at Granville. Along with new preparation, production and dispatch areas, the 5,740 sq m premises included a dedicated innovation centre and development kitchen enabling the business to continually innovate and create products that are ahead of current trends in the food retailing sector.

Trevor Lockhart, Chairman of Linden Foods, said: "This investment is an important part of our long term development strategy and underlines our commitment to the Dungannon area. The support from Invest NI through its Jobs Fund will allow us to create the workforce we need to meet the demand for our range of new and innovative products among export customers and enable us to cement our leading position within the meat processing industry."

Invest Northern Ireland has offered assistance of £520,000 under its Jobs Fund to support the company's plans for growth within the food retailing sector.

Speaking during a visit to the company, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: "This investment is very welcome news for the food industry which is a key contributor to Northern Ireland's economy. The 179 new production and managerial positions, to be created in Dungannon with support from the Jobs Fund, will generate over £2.5m annually in additional salaries. This is a fantastic boost to the local area, the local community and to the wider Northern Ireland economy.

"Linden Foods has demonstrated a clear desire to continually innovate, maintain its reputation for quality products and retain its focus on growing export sales of its products for the retail sector. Invest Northern Ireland's support will enable this progressive meat processing firm to recruit its new staff members quickly and capitalise on growth opportunities within the convenience food market."

To date Invest NI's Jobs Fund has helped create over 2,600 new jobs, the Minister said.

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