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ARM Innovation Hub
11 June, 2008 - 05:49 By Staff Reporter

Foods giant invests in Peterborough technology centre

The group behind some of the UK’s largest and best known food producers, Associated British Foods (ABF), is investing in major expansion in Peterborough as part of a company-wide technology initiative.

Once operational, ABF will employ 60 staff at the IT Shared Service Centre, providing infrastructure services to ABF’s UK-based companies including British Sugar, AB Agri, Silver Spoon, Twinings Ovaltine, Allied Bakeries, Ryvita and AB World Foods. ABF will occupy over 6,000 sq ft of speculative office space at the Peterborough Business Park under a 10-year lease as part of the investment, which places the IT team close to British Sugar’s HQ and in the UK’s food producing heartland. The London-based food producer generated over £6.8 billion of revenues and £613m of pretax profit from its four leading divisions in 2007: Sugar and agriculture; retail; grocery; and ingredients. “This is a substantial investment in developing best in class services for the ABF group of companies,” said Rob Jones, director of the new IT Centre.“It underlines our commitment to the Peterborough area and to the companies based here. “Tyndall Court is ideally situated within close proximity to some of our group companies including  British Sugar who have their head quarters building in Oundle Road and AB Agri who currently have new offices under construction at Innovation Way.” ABF rented the property through Budworth Hardcastle from a fund managed by commercial property investment specialist, Pinder Fry & Benjamin (PFB), who marketed the offices with developer, Gladman Developments. “We are delighted that ABF has taken such a prestigious building for their new Shared Service Centre,” said Marija Lysak senior surveyor with Budworth Hardcastle. “This is an important strategic move for one of Peterborough’s major employers. “The attractive offices are built to a very high specification and are in keeping with the high profile image that ABF and its associated companies like to maintain.” Unit 36 is the last available space on the 23,850 sq ft speculative office development at Tyndall Court. The lease is for 10 years, with a five year break, at a rent of £77,000 per annum exclusive of business rates and VAT. Nearby is British Sugar, the sole processor of the UK sugar beet crop – over 1 million tonnes of sugar is processed each year at its factories and it is Europe’s most efficient producer. Its sugar products are supplied to Silver Spoon for the retail market and to food & drink manufacturers in the UK and Europe. Two beet sugar factories operate in Poland; Glinojeck, the country’s largest has an annual capacity of over 100,000 tonnes.

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