100 NEW JOBS: Chesterfield firm hopes expansion will provide economic shot in the arm

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A new multi-million pound food storage facility could create almost 100 new jobs over the next two years in Chesterfield if planning permission is granted.

Rick Bestwick Ltd has applied to North East Derbyshire District Council to build the facility on land next to its site at Holmewood Industrial Park.

The long-running company, which supplies wild game, said the facility is needed to meet demand from major food manufacturers and retailers in the South Yorkshire and East Midlands.

Kevin Hancock, managing director of Rick Bestwick Ltd, said: “Through the ever-increasing demand for the unique services we provide in cold storage, food processing and distribution to both manufacturers and retailers, this development is key to not only securing more business, but generating much-needed new and sustainable jobs for north east Derbyshire.”

The news comes after the Derbyshire Times revealed earlier this month that the company had made a string of redundancies.

Eighteen drivers and eight people working in office and administrative roles lost their jobs.

At the time, a spokesman for Rick Bestwick Ltd said: “Following a change in the operations of one of our largest customers, we have regrettably had to make a number of redundancies at our Chesterfield depot.

“We are actively supporting those affected to find alternative employment.”

One driver who was made redundant with a week’s notice said he felt like he had been “treated like muck”.

The news came as Chesterfield was blighted by a number of job losses.

Well-known Chesterfield Hotel – which was a major employer and social venue in the town since 1877 – closed on January 31, resulting in 45 job losses.

It is understood the hotel owners are currently considering what to do with the Malkin Street site.

Fifty jobs were lost at KM Furniture Ltd, based at Pottery Lane West, Whittington Moor, just before Christmas.

Forty-two job losses were also announced at scrap metal dealer Richard Fletcher (Metals) Ltd, in Newbridge Lane, Old Whittington, in December.

Rick Bestwick Ltd was founded in 1975, becoming the largest wild game and venison processors in the UK.

If the new development gets the go-ahead, it is hoped the first stage of the project will be completed by October with phase two complete by July 2016.