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Cover issue 15

VBites new factory set to open in three months

Heather Mills, vegan businesswoman and entrepreneur has announced that her new factory in Peterlee will open in just three months’ time. Mills took over the former Walker’s Crisps factory to produce the new range of VBites plant-based food.

Mills is currently hiring staff to work at the new site, which closed in 2017, taking 350 jobs from the local community, and the new VBites factory will help to boost the local economy.

Six former Walkers employees have been hired, including one taking on a managerial role for the new VBites factory.

Speaking about the new factory, Mills says: “It’s been quite a journey to get here and it’s a very exciting time for us now. I’ve been delighted to see some of the former workers at Walkers take up new positions with us already. We have some good people in place at Peterless and we’re looking for more.”

She adds: “There will be office and factory positions for apprentices and also for older people who are experienced. I value their experience.”

Councillor Carl Marshall, cabinet member for economic regeneration at Durham Country Council, says: “This is really exciting news and it’s particularly encouraging to see that there will now be more than 300 job opportunities created at the old Walkers site in the near feature.

“We’re thrilled that Heather Mills is choosing to bring jobs here to the North East and making the most of our talented workforce.”

Mills has been able to establish the new factory with the help of Peter Rippingale, team manager for inward investment and opportunities at Business Durham. Rippingale comments: “It’s been a pleasure to help Ms Mills with her ambitious plans to grow her business further. It’s great that she’s chosen her native North East as a place to do business and bring valuable jobs to the local economy.”

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