More than 120 jobs could be created as poultry processor, Maelor Foods, hopes to double the capacity of birds its Wrexham plant can handle to two million.

The facility is based on Pickhill Lane in Cross Lanes and the increase in operations could see a boost of £13 million to the Wrexham economym, the firm claims.

The company currently employs 251 people at the site and processes up to 1 million birds a week.

But demand for poultry in the UK has soared in recent years. Around 24 million chickens are eaten every week and national retailers are seeking to source more of their produce from UK farmers and growers.

With demand far outstripping supply, Maelor Foods is looking to submit a planning application to Wrexham Council to vary a planning condition, which currently limits production at the facility to 1 million birds a week.

Ricky Mehta, a director at Maelor Foods said: “Since we started operating at Pickhill Lane in 2014 there have been various restrictions limiting the amount of production that we can do at the site. When we started operating in 2014 this restriction was set at 400,000 birds a week and in 2019 this was lifted to 1 million birds.

“Across the UK similar poultry processing facilities are not subjected to any restrictions on the amount they process. So, we will shortly be asking Wrexham Council to raise the existing restriction to a maximum of 2million birds a week.

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“Our existing facility is able to process an additional 1million birds without any physical expansion. But it would enable us to employ an additional 125 staff and generate an additional £13million for the Wrexham economy every year.

“At a time when the price of food is at the front of everyone’s minds, we hope that Wrexham Council will look positively at our plans. Getting more food into the market using existing facilities likes ours at Pickhill Lane will not only help with the cost of living but it will also help to reduce the carbon footprint of our food.”

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