120 new jobs are coming to Leyland's Dr Oetker factory as it looks to produce 100 million pizzas every year

More than 100 jobs are being created as part of a national pizza maker’s expansion plans.

Monday, 2nd September 2019, 3:55 pm
Dr Oetker in Leyland
Dr Oetker in Leyland

Dr Oetker is hoping to bring 120 new jobs to its Leyland plant off Marathon Place as part of huge expansion plans it has for the town’s base of operations.

The company, which makes the likes of baking powder, cake mixes, and frozen pizza, is looking to build a new two-storey production building a cold store building.

It comes as the company announced in May that it plans to double the site’s capacity to produce Chicago Town Deep Dish frozen pizza.

Dr Oetker in Leyland

The Leyland facility currently manufactures 50 million pizzas a year.

The expansion could see production increased to 100 million pizzas every 12 months.

Now the firm, which is based in Bielefeld, Germany, has submitted plans to South Ribble Council to demolish industrial units to the north of the site near Longmeanygate, with the new production and cold store buildings to be constructed in their place.

There will also be a new bridge built on the site to pass over a new footpath between the new buildings.

Dr Oetker in Leyland

During the design process for the new plans, residents were worried about noise and light issues from the site.

“The populace were worried about potential noise and light pollution from the premises,” a Dr Oetker spokesman notes in documents submitted to the council’s planning department.

“To ensure this would not be an issue the design has been produced to shroud the residents with a lower level link building which will not only avoid unwanted light from the yard but act as an acoustic screen for the residents from the yard area.”

More than 100 new jobs on the way in Leyland thanks to pizza maker Dr OetkerResidents also raised concerns with the size of the development, with the height of the new buildings are set to be between 14.5 metres and 17.3 metres tall.

Seema Kennedy MP visits Dr Oetker in Leyland. Left is Georg Heerdegen Parsbo and middle is Dr. Johannes Rosenthal, Managing Directors at Dr. Oetker UK.

The first 60 jobs are expected to be created in the first year of the expanded site, with second 60 in the following three years.

This would bring the workforce to a total of 540 employees.

“It is envisaged that this expansion will create employment that will benefit the economy of the town as a whole,” writes Directions Planning Consultancy Ltd.

“The proposal would deliver significant economic benefits, including the creation of a substantial number of jobs, whilst securing the future of existing jobs on site.

“At the same time, the proposal should not give rise to any significant harm or adverse impacts.”

A spokesman for Dr Oetker said: “This development is in addition to £30m of capital investment over the last decade.

“During this time job opportunities at the Moss Lane site have increased and the business has seen its employee numbers reach 440 people.

“Dr Oetker’s most recent investments have seen total capacity increase, the introduction of new production lines for Dr. Oetker’s popular Chicago Town Deep Dish pizzas, new raw materials storage capacity and the use of technology which results in faster and more efficient freezing.

“The recent developments, coupled with the plans for further expansion, demonstrates Dr Oetker’s commitment to its Leyland location and to providing long term employment opportunities for the local community.”