Woodhead Bros Meat Company is investing £20million in a major enhancement to its abattoir in Colne, Lancashire.

Owned by Morrisons, the firm’s products are sold in supermarkets throughout the country.

Lorien Engineering Solutions, based in Burton, is working with Morrisons to manage the project, having secured planning permission for an extension to the abattoir.

The Colne facility is currently the largest three-species abattoir in the country, and the extension will almost double the amount of pig meat the facility can produce.

Morrisons is the second largest fresh food manufacturer in the country, employing over 7,000 people in its manufacturing sector alone. Unlike other major food retailers, Morrisons owns a number of bakeries, meat processing facilities and produce packing factories, enabling it to have a greater control over the quality, cost and the supply of fresh food into its stores.

The improvements to the abattoir will include automation to improve the quality of the product and make the life of the line operators easier by assisting with some of the more demanding tasks.

A major innovation is the inclusion of a fully power-assisted and electronically controlled system of storage in the chillers. This will automatically route the product through the state-of-the-art 3MW chiller unit to the chilled holding rails where the product is held until the computer calls it off to go to the butchery for de-boning and packaging. This new facility will improve the hygiene of the system and retain more of the meat’s natural and flavoursome juices.

Roy Klek, director at Lorien, said: “The work will take a little over a year to complete and we’ve been working closely with the Woodhead team to ensure great care in planning the project, in order to minimise disruption to current activity, and ultimately maximise output, whilst continuing the same high standards of care and hygiene.”

This project adds to a growing order book for Lorien, which has already seen growth in the food, beverage and general industrial sector over recent months, both in the UK and in Poland. The company recently announced the relocation to a larger office in Poland, and the opening of a second UK office in Manchester.

Lorien Engineering Solutions

www.lorienengineering.com

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