flour power!

artist's impression of new flour mill
artist's impression of new flour mill

a MASSIVE boost for Kirkcaldy.

That is how Kirkcaldy MSP David Torrance described the news that Kirkcaldy is to be the location for a new £17 million state-of-the-art flour mill - the first to be built in Scotland in 30 years.

The news, announced by owners Carr’s Milling Industries plc. at the end of last week will mean that the future of flour production in the town is secured for many decades to come, with the new mill replacing the current one at Kirkcaldy’s harbour.

Managers say it is too early to say whether the news will mean more jobs for the Lang Toun, as it will depend on market conditions when it is completed next autumn.

The project by the Cumbrian based company, involves the construction of a new purpose built Hutchisons Mill, to be located on a site alongside the present grain storage and handling facility which operates within the town’s port.

The reopening of the harbour to cargo vessels last summer after a 20-year absence played a major role in determining where the facility was to be built, and Carr’s along with Forth Ports Ltd worked together and invested in the project to make it happen.

Modern facility

Construction, which is due to start immediately, will replace the original Hutchisons Mill with a modern facility to give enhanced, flexible capability, to produce a wide range of flour milled from imported and locally grown wheat.

These include the wheat varieties which have made Scottish Biscuits so famous globally.

Chris Holmes, chief executive of Carr’s, said: “This is the first flour mill to be built in Scotland for 30 years, and it will give Carr’s the most modern and technologically advanced mill in the UK and means that we can continue to provide our customers with the highest levels of product quality and service quality for many years to come.”

The work will take place over the next 15 months. Swiss Milling Engineers Buhler will supply the milling machinery and controls. Gelder & Kitchen of Hull, has been appointed as project manager and architect. The project is supported by a Regional Selective Assistance grant from Scottish Enterprise.

George Wishart, finance director of Carr’s Flour Mills Ltd added: “Our plans to renew the Mill facility at Kirkcaldy are good news for our 71 strong workforce, the local supply chain and the town.

Local contractors

‘‘We hope to engage with local contractors on elements of the construction, which will go out to tender as the programme moves forward.

‘‘We also acknowledge the support of Scottish Enterprise, which has helped fund the project and enabled it to get the go ahead.”

David Torrance MSP added: “The decision by Carr’s to build their new state-of-the-art flour mill in Kirkcaldy is fantastic news for the town and it will secure the long-term future for the workforce.

Exports boost

‘‘It will also help increase food exports which are at an all time hight for Scotland.

“This investment has been made possible by the involvement of the Scottish Government and the financial aid it has given to locate in this area, including the investment made last year to help reopen Kirkcaldy harbour as a working port.

“It is also a sign of confidence in the workforce in Kirkcaldy and will hopefully lead to more investment in the town.”

Councillor Kay Carrington, executive spokesman for Fife Council’s business, enterprise, economy and planning policy advisory group, said: “As one of the local elected members, I attended the reopening of the Harbour last year and it is fantastic to see another investment in the facility so soon after, further contributing to the wider regeneration of the Kirkcaldy area.

“Our Invest in Fife team has worked closely with the company and Scottish Enterprise on this project.

‘‘I look forward to seeing the work commencing shortly with the new facility being operational in autumn of 2013.”