CARLISLE MP John Stevenson has said that the £12million investment at the pladis biscuit factory in Carlisle demonstrates ‘confidence in the city’.

Mr Stevenson was speaking as he officially opened a new £2million warehouse at the Church St factory yesterday.

The new warehouse will support the creation of 50 jobs, with more than 150 people recruited in the last 18 months as the factory sees the benefits of the £12million investment.

The investment has also allowed factory owners pladis - which owns brands like McVitie's and Carr's - to put in four new production lines, and the warehouse is designed to support that new process capability.

It also allows the factory make biscuits that they previously couldn't make including ‘fully coated products, products in sharing bags, healthier products and fruit-filled products.’

“It’s a very significant investment,” said Mr Stevenson.

“It demonstrates confidence by pladis in Carlisle and in the products that are produced here.

“It's actually securing jobs and also creating new jobs in the city.

"They produce an iconic product here which is exported to other parts of the world, and full credit must go to the staff here because it is them who have made it a viable business and it is they who have given the employer and pladis the confidence to invest here, which is a credit to everyone.

“I think there's confidence in the city at the moment with the investment in the ring road, the university wanting to move the city centre, the refurbishment to the station - but wealth is not created by the public sector.

“It's created by the private sector, and therefore it's absolutely vital that we see investment from the private sector, particularly the big organizations, and this is a clear demonstration of that investment.”

The pladis factory is one of the largest employers in the city, with more than 800 workers employed at the factory site.

The site makes more than 40million individual biscuits each day including some of McVities’ most iconic brands including bourbons and custard creams.

At the opening of the new warehouse, factory general manager, Michael Heaney said he was ‘excited’ about the long-term future of the factory.

“This is a massive commitment from pladis to the site at Carlisle and one that I'm very excited about,” said Michael.

“We are a site that is growing, and our core volume is also very good at this moment in time so the business is doing very well and so the investment is a vote of confidence in Carlisle and the factory itself.”