A FOOD wholesaler is set to open a new depot in Colchester as part of a multi-million project.

Independently owned and operated food firm Pilgrim Foodservice will launch its new Colchester hub this spring.

The £3 million project includes the demolition of two existing structures, allowing for the construction of a new purpose-built warehouse incorporating seven loading docks.

Building work is already underway on site. 

The new Colchester depot forms part of the company’s wider £11.5 million investment strategy which also sees investment in recruiting and developing its people, upgrading operating systems and facility enhancements at the company’s main site in Lincolnshire, and the renewal and expansion of the firm's fleet.

The new depot is expected to create more than 20 jobs locally, which include a depot manager role as well as Class 2 HGV drivers.

It is hoped the scheme will enable the wholesaler to expand its operations across Essex, Suffolk, and London.

Gazette: Colchester Council economy boss Alison JayColchester Council economy boss Alison Jay (Image: Public)

Colchester Council's economy boss Alison Jay said: “Pilgrim Foodservice’s expansion in Colchester ticks all the boxes – 20 new jobs, a vibrant business, and a shot in the arm for Colchester's economy.

“We are delighted to see this family-run business investing in our city and confident that their new depot will be a win-win for Colchester.”

Pilgrim Foodservice, a second-generation family business, was founded in 1979 by Peter Bateman.

The company, now led by Peter’s son Charles, has grown to employ a team of more than 330 and specialise in providing a diverse range of products, including fresh produce, prepared vegetables, essential pantry items, chilled and frozen goods, fresh fish, and fresh meat sourced from their in-house butchery business, C.J. Butchers.

Gazette: Charles Bateman reviewing plans onsiteCharles Bateman reviewing plans onsite (Image: N/A)

Managing director Charles Bateman said: “The opening of our first satellite depot marks another step forward for our growth plans.

“The addition of this depot will support our vision and ensure we continue to provide our customers with the finest products and first-class customer service.”

For more information visit pilgrimfoods.co.uk.