Council to hand Doncaster kitchen firm £283,000 to 'ensure' expansion stays in the town

Doncaster Council is to hand over nearly £300,000 in grant cash to ensure a firm's expansion stays in the town.

Tuesday, 17th April 2018, 5:32 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th April 2018, 5:36 pm
Omega PLC boss Sir Bob Murray

Kitchen manufacturer Omega PLC based off the M18 in Thorne, will receive £283,000 from the council’s business investment incentive scheme to the firm’s £20 million investment which is set to create 109 jobs.

Plans include a new distribution facility and office block. The new facility will release space in the existing factory for new capital equipment with ‘greater capability and capacity’ generating business rates of £228,000.

But documents show council bosses raised concerns the firm could build their expansion site at cheaper land in nearby Goole where they were renting an office.

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Bosses added the grant money would ‘ensure’ Omega expanded in Doncaster and not elsewhere in the UK.

Local authority chiefs are said to have considered a ‘number of options’ including not offering the company any incentives at all.

But Steering Group members felt the nature of the investment would be ‘good for Doncaster’ by providing ‘substantial business rates uplift and a significant increase in skilled new jobs in the town’.

The council are to give Omega PLC speculative build grant of £228,000 alongside a £50,000 job creation grant which will be used for 109 permanent full-time permanent skilled

roles.

The total grant will be paid out by the council when the jobs have been created for a minimum period of one year and the company providing written evidence of the staff appointed residing at a Doncaster postcode.

A £5,000 project set-up grant as part of the scheme will pay for architects fees, planning application and removal costs as well the recruitment and new equipment for new staff.

This offer will be subject to the company providing satisfactory evidence of the expenditure and will be given on a ‘match funded basis’.

Council bosses said these grants are ‘discretionary in nature’ and the local authority has ‘no obligation’ to provide them.

In a report compiled by Sue Harrison from the regeneration and environment team at Doncaster Council, she said: “Business Doncaster team has been supporting this established large business to extend their head office to Doncaster. They are a growth company in a priority sector for the town who offers skilled and well paid jobs that residents can access.

“If the project does not go ahead here, the company have the option of investing in Goole which is a cheaper site that they are currently utilising pending this project being pulled together.

“This incentive grant will ensure that they invest here as opposed to Goole and will increase our gross value as more new jobs are created and new business rates are achieved.”

Omega PLC manufactures kitchen units made to order supplying mainly the UK market.

The company employs 353 staff in the UK from its Doncaster location and has been trading since 1996 under Sir Bob Murray.

They’ve shown impressive growth with turnover forecast to reach £53m in 2017, having posted £44m in 2016.