Morrisons is to bolster its meat processing base with the acquisition of a plant from processing giant Vion.

The 105,000 sq ft facility in Cheshire is a fresh pork and lamb retail packing plant but has capacity to increase production and expand into beef.

As Morrisons continued to grow, the company needed extra facilities to support it, said group manufacturing director Martyn Fletcher.

“Owning the manufacturing sites that produce our fresh food is crucial to Morrisons because it ensures we can control quality and keep down costs for our customers,” he said.

Morrisons is the second largest free food manufacturer in the country, employing 7,000 people throughout its bakeries, meat plants and produce-packing sites.