Cameron hails economic plan as The Hut and Unilever invest

PRIME Minister David Cameron said the government’s economic plan is working as he visited fast-growth e-commerce company The Hut Group, which is creating more than 2,000 jobs over the next three years.

Hailing the Hut’s expansion  – which will see its staff numbers grow from 1,200 to more than 3,000 – as “great news ” for Cheshire, Mr Cameron said that since he came into power 97,000 more people were in work in the North West.

“The long term economic plan is working and we are making sure that all parts of the country benefit from that plan. The news from The Hut Group proves there are more jobs to come.”

The Hut Group, which has its headquarters in Northwich, is investing in a 836,000 sq ft distribution and manufacturing base at Omega South distribution park, Warrington.

The site will enable the company to increase growth revenues to £1bn over the coming years.  Around £80m will be initially invested by the end of 2015, with a further £20m earmarked for development of the additional land within three years.

Matthew Moulding, founder and chief executive of The Hut added: “At The Hut Group, we continue to heavily invest in our infrastructure to enable us to deliver on our long-term growth plans. In 2014, we invested a further £15m in our proprietary technology platform, creating an additional 400 jobs in the region during the year.

“Our £100m investment in the Omega project is a continuation of THG’s commitment to develop as a British export success, and through the creation of our manufacturing centre of excellence we hope to stimulate further growth, both in the UK and global nutrition markets.”

The visit on Friday formed part of the Chancellor and Prime Minister’s two tour of the region. After Warrington, they moved on to Unilever’s Port Sunlight base.

Unilever has pledged to invest £200m in a new global IT centre, the completion of the construction of a new personal care factory, producing brands including TRESemmé and Radox, and several new R&D facilities in collaboration with North West academic institutions.

Chancellor George Osborne said: “Unilever is an iconic company that exports around the world. Their decision to invest £200m in their Port Sunlight site secures jobs for the future and is fantastic news for the region and a vote of confidence in the UK.”

Unilever UK and Ireland executive chairman, Graeme Pitkethly, added: “Unilever’s legacy in Port Sunlight goes back over 125 years – it is the historic home of our company which today operates in more than 190 countries.

“Our £200m investment into Unilever Port Sunlight is a significant moment that will provide a platform for our business in the UK and across the globe for years to come.”