MP gets a grilling from pizza firm staff during visit to Stateside Foods in Westhoughton

Jon Lucas and MP Julie Hilling

Jon Lucas and MP Julie Hilling

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

A POLITICIAN enjoyed a slice of the action at a pizza business — before being grilled by staff at the firm.

Julie Hilling — MP for Bolton West — was given a tour of Stateside Foods, which produces chilled pizzas for major supermarkets.

The Westhoughton firm is one of the region’s big success stories and now employs more than 700 people and contributes to 38 per cent of the chilled pizza market in the UK.

Ms Hilling was shown the company’s state-of the-art bakery equipment which has just been installed.

She said: “It is really impressive to see such a successful and competitive business continuing to invest in their site here in Bolton West.

“The plans for the business going forward are really exciting and I hope they will help in providing more job opportunities for local people.

“The factory was very impressive, not only with the new machines and technology, but the fact more skilled workers are now needed to run and operate the technology which produces the pizzas we eat.”

Ms Hilling also hailed the “impressive” firm for its success and ambition. Following investment of about £90million from German parent company Suedzucker, Stateside has become one of Westhoughton’s largest employers.

Ms Hilling ended her visit by joining some staff for a question and answer session, discussing issues such as public transport, HS2 and jobs for school-leavers.

Managing director Jon Lucas joined the firm 20 years ago, when it employed just 20 people.

He said: “It is great that Julie knows that we are doing down here and employing more than 700 people.

“We are an example of a business that is investing into Bolton which I am sure is of huge interest to Julie.

“We are a rapidly growing business and have changed massively since I got involved.”

Stateside Foods said it was continuing to eye up further growth opportunities with more projects in the pipeline for the winter.

The firm is sponsoring the Business of the Year award at the Bolton and Bury Business Awards which will be held on September 11.

Comments (5)

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6:13pm Thu 4 Sep 14

heaton watcher says...

A brilliant good news story. Let's have more like this rather than the diet of doom and gloom we're always fed!
A brilliant good news story. Let's have more like this rather than the diet of doom and gloom we're always fed! heaton watcher
  • Score: -5

8:17am Sat 6 Sep 14

Wolfie190 says...

That place has been used as a threat in job centres for years many people cant hack it till dinner time some less than that. Slave camp.
That place has been used as a threat in job centres for years many people cant hack it till dinner time some less than that. Slave camp. Wolfie190
  • Score: 3

1:29pm Mon 8 Sep 14

Terry McC says...

Did she find any English speakers there !!!!!!!!!
Did she find any English speakers there !!!!!!!!! Terry McC
  • Score: 2

1:01pm Thu 11 Sep 14

Rocket_Scientist says...

I claim my £5 for spotting our local MP. Sorry to be synical but is there an election coming up or something. She would definitely have needed a translator to talk to many of the staff employed there, many of whom have set up 'camp' in the town and invited all their relatives over too. How long before a polish delicatessent opens in Church Street?
I claim my £5 for spotting our local MP. Sorry to be synical but is there an election coming up or something. She would definitely have needed a translator to talk to many of the staff employed there, many of whom have set up 'camp' in the town and invited all their relatives over too. How long before a polish delicatessent opens in Church Street? Rocket_Scientist
  • Score: 1

11:21am Sat 20 Sep 14

Howfen Ste says...

Rocket_Scientist wrote:
I claim my £5 for spotting our local MP. Sorry to be synical but is there an election coming up or something. She would definitely have needed a translator to talk to many of the staff employed there, many of whom have set up 'camp' in the town and invited all their relatives over too. How long before a polish delicatessent opens in Church Street?
Well said prof. Actually there is one round the corner from Church Street. Lidl!!
[quote][p][bold]Rocket_Scientist[/bold] wrote: I claim my £5 for spotting our local MP. Sorry to be synical but is there an election coming up or something. She would definitely have needed a translator to talk to many of the staff employed there, many of whom have set up 'camp' in the town and invited all their relatives over too. How long before a polish delicatessent opens in Church Street?[/p][/quote]Well said prof. Actually there is one round the corner from Church Street. Lidl!! Howfen Ste
  • Score: 0
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