M&S meals contract creates 200 jobs at Carlisle factory

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Image caption,
The factory is taking on the retailer's gastropub and fish ranges and production begins in January 2019

Two hundred jobs are being created at a Carlisle food factory after it won a five-year contract to supply a new range of ready meals.

Cavaghan and Gray, owned by the 2 Sisters food group, is investing £7m at expanding its Durranhill site to make food for Marks and Spencer.

The factory is taking on the retailer's gastropub and fish ranges and production begins in January 2019.

Conservative Carlisle MP John Stevenson said the deal was fantastic news.

'Strength to strength'

He said: "This is obviously creates opportunity for people in Carlisle, but also has a wider context. We saw Scottish factory Pinneys close down so we could see workers come here.

"So that's welcome not just for Carlisle, but also for the wider region and this is on the back of the news that the House of Fraser is to remain open in the city centre.

"This is extremely welcome news and it demonstrates a growing confidence in the growing economic fortunes of Carlisle."

William Duncanson, the factory's site director, said: "This is a huge commitment - we are investing £7m on a five-year agreement with Marks and Spencer.

"But obviously we still have a very strong core base business with Marks and Spencer going back 50 years.

"We produced some of their very first prepared meal dishes and that is a partnership that's gone from strength to strength."

Image caption,
The food factory has been working with the world-wide retailer for more than five decades

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