Hot off the heels of a record year for Clegg Food Projects, we are looking back at the biggest wins and achievements of 2023. From advanced robotic facilities to fresh pasta factories and vertical farms it was a busy year – and 2024 is set to be just as diverse and exciting.
Business development manager Oliver Jenkins talks us through the defining moments for the company.
How has 2023 been for Clegg Food Projects?
We’ve had one of the best years on record. We completed numerous schemes for new and existing clients, with many new projects already lined up to start in 2024.
From the ‘world’s largest’ vertical farm for Fischer Farms, a new distillery and HQ for Alcohols , and schemes with Beavertown Brewery and Samworth Brothers, to multiple projects for long-time customer Greggs. We have seen a record number of clients in the food, drink, and industrial manufacturing sectors wanting to expand their current factories or have completely new facilities built.
We’ve also continued to sponsor the Greggs Foundation Breakfast Clubs and the charity’s fringe events – including taking part in the Sea to Shore fundraising walk, which raised more than £30,000. We very much look forward to continuing to support and raise money for the charity, having named the Greggs Foundation as our chosen charity for the annual Samworth Challenge in May 2024.
What has been the biggest achievement?
We’ve had a lot to shout about this year but building the UK’s largest fresh pasta manufacturing facility in central London, surrounded by HS2 construction and rapid deadlines, is up there as our biggest achievement.
We oversaw the building’s conversion from a former clothing retail giant’s head office and warehouse into a high-care fresh pasta and sauce facility for Pasta Evangelists.
The space underwent a huge transformation creating a high-end commercial food processing, packaging, and storage facility with distribution space.
We celebrated with a launch event to officially open the facility in November and look forward to seeing what the brand has in store in the future.
How many events did you attend this year, were they fruitful?
Events and conferences are very much back in full swing and we attended quite a few in 2023. The main ones included PPMA and Foodex, which were both very positive and received a great response from food and drink industry clients.
2024 will be no different, with planned events at the Food and Drink Manufacturing Awards in London, Appetite 4 Engineering in Coventry, PPMA at the NEC in September, as well as many more.
What has been the most exciting project to work on and why?
Cambridge Medical Robotic (CMR) Surgical facility was super exciting as this was a first for Clegg and a sector that is likely to grow.
We were appointed as the principal contractor for the project to design and build a 75,000 sq ft facility for state-of-the-art robotic manufacturing for medical surgery. The building includes clean rooms, assembly areas, advanced engineering, modern office space, a warehouse, and despatch areas.
What’s on the radar for 2024?
We are heading into 2024 with some excellent projects already lined up, and some fantastic prospective plans in place. We hope to continue building on 2023’s successes and the industry is looking strong moving into Q1.
Molson Coors HQ will be a huge flagship project for us next year and we are set to complete several existing projects too including Greggs, Alpro, and Heineken.
Sustainability and biodiversity are fast becoming a key focus for many of our projects. Where possible we try to implement low-carbon technologies and efficiency at every level. We are also always looking to improve our environment, social, and governance within our operations, as well as at site level, and believe this is an ongoing journey.
We would like to undertake more projects akin to Fischer Farms’ vertical farming facility, as well as advanced manufacturing facilities such as CMR, and innovative food processing factories such as Pasta Evangelists.
We very much look forward to building our client base and continuing to grow our existing relationships with leading industry-led innovators as we move into 2024.
For more information or to enquire how Clegg Food Projects can help you in 2024 please get in touch with our team.