New factory provides right recipe for food firm

A 136 year-old food importer and processor is to relocate and expand in a £1.1 million investment supported by Invest Northern Ireland.

W G Buchanan & Son Ltd, well known for its ‘soup mix’, the staple ingredient of traditional vegetable broth, is moving to a new 25,000 sq ft new build facility at Invest NI’s Trooperslane Business Park in Carrickfergus.  The company processes, packs and distributes a variety of dried foods, including cereals and pulses, rice, pasta, dried fruit and other bakery ingredients.

This major investment, which will generate 15 new jobs, will streamline operations, help with new product development and facilitate ongoing export driven growth. Invest NI is supporting the move with a £70,000 offer of property focused support.

Jonathan McVeigh, Managing Director with Buchanans, said: “Our business is growing rapidly and we pride ourselves on the ability to predict food trends and deliver high quality, competitive products in export markets. We can only do this if we have right infrastructure in place.

“Our growth plans have been restricted by our current site, so I am confident that the move to a purpose built facility at Invest NI’s Trooperslane Business Park will deliver significant benefits and help Buchanans to fully realise its potential.”

Mr McVeigh added: “Invest NI has been really supportive of our company and in particular, the property team has been instrumental in identifying appropriate sites and helping with key aspects of its purchase and development.”

Steve Chambers, Head of Invest NI’s Property Solutions Unit, added: “This relocation will provide increased office space, storage and production space which will facilitate growth and ensure the firm is in a position to take full advantage of new export opportunities.

“Having the right type of property or site to locate a business is crucial for future development and sustainability. Buchanans has clearly recognised the need to invest in an appropriate facility to secure its competitive position. Such an investment demonstrates how industrial land can make a tangible contribution to future economic development and emphasises the need for Invest NI to continue to support our clients by providing viable property solutions.”

Buchanans currently has a product range of around 70 different lines. Its customers include the major supermarkets, catering suppliers and wholesalers in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man and Scotland. The new facility is currently under construction and Buchanans will move into the site in October 2007.