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£30m investment project for Leyland frozen pizza

Multi-national food giant Dr Oetker has completed a £30m investment project at its Leyland frozen pizza-making operation as it marks a decade of production in the town. The German-headquartered business says that the investment demonstrates its commitment to maintaining its manufacturing base in the UK.

And it has revealed that further plans are in place for continued investment in the site to meet its growing UK and export sales.

The continued investment in the Moss Lane facility over the last decade has seen its workforce grow from 360 to 440 people. The future plans are set to create another 120 jobs.

The Leyland plant produces popular pizza brands Chicago Town and Dr Oetker Ristorante for the UK and international markets.

The business has increased the total capacity of the operation with the introduction of a new production line for its Chicago Town Deep Dish pizzas.

It has also created new raw materials storage capacity and introduced new technology which results in faster and more efficient freezing.

The new line was officially opened by the Mayor of South Ribble John Rainsbury at an event attended by company executive board members and representatives from the department of Trade and Industry and the German embassy.

Our investment demonstrates a clear commitment to the future of pizza manufacturing in our Leyland facility.
Georg Heerdegen Parsbo, managing director at Dr Oetker UK, said: “Dr Oetker is incredibly proud of our world-class facility and our new investment means we can continue to meet the demands for our great tasting pizzas both here in the UK and overseas.”  

He added: “Our investment demonstrates a clear commitment to the UK business and the future of pizza manufacturing in our Leyland facility.

“We are very grateful to the South Ribble Council and support of the local community without whom our expansion would not have been possible.”

And Dr Christian von Twickel, a Dr Oetker board member, added: “This new line and planned future investment demonstrate our continued commitment to the UK facility.”

Dr Oetker acquired Schwans UK frozen pizza manufacturing facility in 2009 and over the past decade has undertaken a series of significant investment projects to enable 95 per cent of its pizza sold in the UK to be manufactured here. 

The company's total share of the frozen pizza market is 39.3 per cent and is worth £162.3m. It continues to grow. 

Chicago Town is the biggest brand in the frozen pizza sector with almost 28 per cent share of the market.