Plans have been revealed for a £65 million investment at a Perthshire chicken factory which could create hundreds of new jobs.
Developers Amber Real Estate Investment (Amber REI) have lodged proposals for a massive upgrade of the 2 Sisters plant at Coupar Angus.
It is part of a nationwide programme to deliver more than £150m of post-Covid investment into the farming, food and tourism sectors, supporting nearly 6,000 jobs across Scotland.
The plans for Coupar Angus include an upgrade of the existing building.
And there are longer-term plans to relocate production into a brand new facility on neighbouring land which the firm already owns.
It is understood the move could create around 700 new full-time posts, in addition to the existing workforce of 1,100.
Once operational, options will be considered for the current factory site.
The announcement on Thursday follows a difficult period for the 2 Sisters plant, which has been hit by three major coronavirus outbreaks since the summer.
On Wednesday, NHS Tayside said the latest cluster appeared to be under control, with an “expected” rise in case numbers amongst people already identified as close contacts and in isolation.
Amber REI said its planned investment will boost the local economy, sustain jobs and improve standards across the sector.
Project will ‘preserve and create’ jobs
The company wants to upgrade the existing building, but also wants to create a new £65 million factory on neighbouring land.
Two Proposal of Application Notices (PAN) have now been submitted to Perth and Kinross Council and a public consultation will be carried out before detailed planning applications are lodged.
An Amber REI spokesman said: “We are delighted to be working towards planning applications for the facilities in Coupar Angus.
“Our ambitious vision for Scotland, of which Coupar Angus is part, will preserve and create jobs, both directly and indirectly, as well as contributing to delivering a low carbon sustainable future for the agriculture sector.”
He added: “We would urge the community to become fully involved in the consultation process and help shape the proposals for our scheme as It progresses.”
Local SNP MP Pete Wishart has welcomed the plans. “Should planning permission be obtained, it will be fantastic to see this potential level of investment being used to upgrade the current processing facility in Coupar Angus, delivering new state of the art low carbon facilities,” he said.
“In addition to creating much-needed employment, it is a tremendous opportunity to raise standards by improving the facilities, delivering high-quality production while tackling climate change and delivering a sustainable future.
“I would urge the community to become fully involved in the consultation process and shape the proposals for the scheme as it progresses.”