MP impressed on visit to Bigham’s site
WELLS MP James Heappey said he was very impressed after visiting Charlie Bigham’s new food production campus in the old Dulcote Quarry.
Mr Heappey toured the campus alongside Charlie Bigham himself, chief executive Patrick Cairns and Mendip District Council chair of planning Nigel Hewitt-Cooper, and was quick to pay tribute to Bigham’s for not only creating a fantastic facility, but for bringing quality employment opportunities to the area.
“It’s a hugely impressive site. They have taken a beautiful, but what is in construction terms probably quite a challenging site, and created a very impressive campus that fits perfectly with the landscape,” said Mr Heappey.
“It looks like it’s going to be a fantastic place to work so I think everyone at Bigham’s should be congratulated for that. To have quality manufacturing jobs like this, and we should remember that these are properly contracted jobs with a company that is going to care for its employees, is hugely exciting for the Mendip economy.”
Initially Bigham’s is creating over 100 jobs with the intention of creating over 300 over the next few years.
“When set against some of the other manufacturing jobs that are coming into the area with other manufacturers locally, there is arguably a renaissance in Mendip manufacturing and it’s great to see Charlie Bigham’s at the heart of that,” Mr Heappey added.
Mr Bigham, who himself lives close to Stourhead, thanked Mr Heappey for visiting and said: “We have always said that it is really important for us to play a prominent role in the local community and it was fantastic to have Mr Heappey, as well as Mr Hewitt-Cooper, along to show them what we have built here and tell them a little bit more about our future plans.
“This is a long-term project for us and we are very much at the beginning of that, so it’s a really exciting time and we’re delighted that we are receiving so much support.”
Hundreds of people turned up to an Open Day at Bigham’s earlier in July. They got to sample some of the brand’s best loved dishes, learn more about the business and chat to Charlie about why he chose Dulcote as Bigham’s new home.
About 100 people applied for a job with the company on the spot, and Bigham’s head of people Lauri Duncan has thanked the local community for its support.
“We absolutely loved meeting our new neighbours and we were completely overwhelmed with the response. The support we got from everybody who came was incredible, and it just reinforced to us that we absolutely made the right decision in basing our new kitchen in Somerset,” she said.
Charlie added: “Our Open Day was extremely successful with more than 350 local residents calling in to see us and we really could have not been made to feel more welcome.”
The new site is nearing completion with production due to start later in the summer.
Anyone interested in working for the company can find more details on its website http://www.bighams.com.