Okehampton jobs boost

Ben Fox
Ben Fox

There is going to be a new pet food manufacturer in Okehampton, bringing 25 new jobs to the area.

There is currently a new £8m premises being built at the Okehampton East Business Park, which will be home to Forthglade, who are moving from Winkleigh. The company, which manufactures natural pet food, is launching a recruitment drive for roles with technical/quality, engineering and production as well as supervisory roles.

The current 80-strong workforce will be moving fromWinkleigh, where they have been based since 1971, to the new purpose built factory which is set to increase production of the natural Devon-made pet food by 50%.

Joint managing director of Forthglade Chris Brooking said he hoped that a number of local recruitment events would help attract potential candidates.

‘The company is Devon through and through and it was always our intention to keep the factory here,’ he said. ‘The new factory at Okehampton is really starting to take shape now but before we move we need to substantially increase our team.

‘It is wonderful to be in a position to increase local employment and we encourage those interested in working with us to get in touch.

‘We’re looking for permanent employees to be based with us at Winkleigh during 2017 and then join us at Okehampton next spring. We’re all incredibly excited about the future of Forthglade and look forward to growing the team.’

Its relocation has been part-funded by a £200,000 grant from the South West Growth Fund — an £8.5-million programme which aims to stimulate capital investment to create new jobs in Devon and other counties in the South West.

The Okehampton East Business Park is being funded with £2-million from Devon County Council, east of the town.

The hope is that it will encourage more employment in the town, which made headline news across the country back in 2011 when 300 jobs were lost practically overnight. Frozen desserts firm Polestar shed 232 jobs and Robert Wiseman Dairies laid off 69 people, devastating the town’s economy.

Details of roles available can be gained from contacting jointheteam@forthglade.com.

Local Life