A multi-million-pound expansion of a leading Tayside food firm will create scores of new jobs, bosses have announced.
Meat processor ABP Perth has secured £4 million of Scottish Government cash to help build a series of new factories.
The move, which aims to transform the Inveralmond plant into a “world class facility”, will create 80 new jobs.
The windfall, part of a wider £18 million investment in the company, comes from the government’s Food Processing, Marketing and Co-opeation grant scheme.
Rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing visited the site and discussed expansion plans with management.
He said: “The Scottish Government is doing everything we can to support Scotland’s successful food and drink industry, which has been going from strength-to-strength in recent years.
“Our long-term ambition is to help double that industry’s value to £30 billion in the next 12 years.”
Mr Ewing added: “Today’s investment in ABP Perth is part of a longer-term investment programme, which will help to fund major infrastructure projects – creating jobs and driving on the industry in Scotland.
“Scotland’s beef producers will benefit from the availability of processing facilities of the highest quality, and the project itself will be a boon to the local economy for many years to come.”
The company’s managing director Tom Kirwan added: “We look forward to beginning work and transforming Perth into one of the most modern facilities of its kind in the UK.
“The improvements will benefit everyone from our farmer suppliers through to our colleagues and the local economy. It will create 80 additional jobs on site and provide significant employment during the construction phase.”
The company has a workforce of about 280 and works with 1,600 farmers around Scotland.
Up to 1,500 cattle are slaughtered and processed at the factory each week.
The Perth plant was taken over by the ABP Food Group in 1997. Since then, the company has ramped up production and invested in new grading facilities.
It has also patented a unique way of preparing carcasses, and most recently called on the help of animal handling expert Temple Grandin to design a new lairage and live cattle handling unit.
ABP Perth is part of a global business which operates across 46 sites in eight different countries.