Samworth Brothers, the Leicestershire based food manufacturer, is creating 240 new jobs in Leicestershire and Cornwall.

The chilled food company, which supplies major retailers including Tesco and Waitrose, will recruit the jobs at two new sites in Launceston and Melton Mowbray and at its recently expanded Kirby Muxloe plant.

One hundred and fifty jobs will be created at its Saladworks site in Kirby Muxloe, which produces ready meals, adding to the 350-strong workforce.

The company will also recruit 50 staff for a newly acquired factory in Launceston, which was previously run by Duchy Originals. The site will continue to make desserts for the Duchy Originals brand, but production is being expanded to service other Samworth Brothers retail customers.

Forty jobs have also been created after a £3m investment at Pate Road, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. The operation will initially produce ready meals for Morrisons, but is likely to supply Tesco in the future.

"These developments demonstrate the strength of the Samworth Brothers business, even when the economic situation is tough," said chief executive Brian Stein. "We have adapted to these new conditions well and are continuing to grow. Most of this expansion is fuelled by existing customers extending their business with us."