McCain to Make Major Investment in Upgrading UK Plant

McCain Foods has unveiled plans to invest £100 million in modernizing its potato processing plant in Scarborough, England. The news has been well received by workers and the community, as less than two months ago the company announced that it would shut down on-site cold storage and dry warehousing operations at the site in favor of outsourcing logistics services to a third party.

In addition to numerous equipment upgrades, the proposal calls for installation of state-of-the-art odor reduction technology and an anaerobic digestion system designed to efficiently break down biodegradable waste and generate renewable energy. Extensive landscaping around the perimeter of the factory is also part of the project.

“This proposal certainly secures our operations in Scarborough and continued employment in the area for decades to come,” said Bill Bartlett, corporate affairs director. “This is a significant investment for McCain, and one that will allow us to meet the ongoing increased demand for our products, address long-term capacity and capability opportunities and deliver the latest technology and broader environmental benefits.”

factory upgrade mccain scarborough contentAn artist’s rendering of the exterior and grounds of the McCain Foods factory in Scarborough, site of the company’s UK headquarters, after the facility is thoroughly modernized.

McCain Foods, which opened the Scarborough facility in 1969 as the first of four frozen french fry and potato specialty manufacturing plants in the United Kingdom, ranks as the area’s largest private employer. The company does business with more than 200 suppliers in the region and is the largest purchaser of British potatoes, buying approximately 15% of the annual potato crop from over 300 growers.

“This is an extremely significant announcement from McCain, which cements the company’s commitment to Scarborough and the Yorkshire coast, and from which our area’s economy stands to benefit massively,” said Derek J. Bastiman, leader of Scarborough Borough Council. “An investment of such magnitude will have a hugely positive impact on the local job market and supply chain, which in turn will benefit many other businesses and local families.”

McCain Foods will submit full plans for the project after March 24, following a period of soliciting public comment and input from local officials. Assuming the project wins approval, work is expected to begin this summer and be completed within three years.