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Scotland's first minister present at opening Albert Bartlett chilled potato plant

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon meets with the potato firm's director Ronnie Bartlett during her visit to the official opening of Albert Bartlett's chilled potato plant

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon helped to formally open Albert Bartlett’s new £17m chilled potato plant last month.

She unveiled a special plaque during her visit to the leading potato firm’s Airdrie headquarters.

The manufacturing facility is now in operation, producing branded products as well as retailer own label products, and will process 50,000 tonnes of potatoes per year – around 90 per cent of which will be grown in Scotland.

Ms Sturgeon:

“The new facility has enabled the company to develop new products, attract new business and is a huge boost to both our food processing and horticultural sectors. It has also led to the creation of 35 new jobs.”

“The Scottish Government has invested more than £4m in Albert Bartlett’s new £17.7m potato processing facility.”

“Since 2014 our food processing grant scheme has assisted almost 100 projects – providing around £42m grant and leveraging £134m of private-sector investment.”

“Projects supported by the scheme have created around 1000 jobs and helped safeguard a further 5000.”

Earlier this year, the Scottish Government awarded Albert Bartlett a Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation grant of £4m. The funding contributed to the total investment in the new factory and development kitchen, which will allow Bartlett’s to introduce new chilled potato products.

The company’s development has created 35 new jobs and safeguarded 50 more in Airdrie, in addition to providing security for its partners working in the entire supply chain, not least its dedicated group of potato growers.

Supported by investment from HSBC, the move represents a “major development” for the potato producer.