Construction has begun on Berry Gardens’ new £18 million packing facility at Linton, near Maidstone in Kent.
Mayor of Maidstone Cllr Malcolm Greer dug the first ceremonial turf on Friday 29 September, marking the start of a two year construction process, with the scheme being developed by farming and haulage company Alan Firmin Ltd.
Michael Firmin, Managing Director of Alan Firmin, said, “We are delighted to be commencing work on this purpose built, high quality facility. We and Berry Gardens have a long track record of working together, and we are very pleased to be able to assist again with their expansion plans for the future.”
Nick Allen, Berry Garden’s Chief Operating Officer, added: “Today marks an exciting development in Berry Gardens’ history. The construction of the new head office and packing facility will ensure we continue to meet the challenges of our thriving market and create sustainable local employment.”
The 14,000 sq ft complex will include offices and 12 loading bays, as well as featuring solar panels and ecological areas. It is expected to safeguard 434 existing jobs and create up to 500 new ones. Cllr Greer commented, “This is an important investment for Maidstone and sends a positive, confident message about the prospects for the area’s fruit industry. It’s a privilege to get work started.”
Photo Caption: Artist’s impression of the new packhouse
Photo Credit: Berry Gardens Ltd