RYEDALE is in line for a multi-million pound jobs boost with the major expansion and development of two sites in the area.

Rosti McKechnie Ltd in Pickering has announced a long-term strategic agreement with an automotive partner to develop key components for several new vehicle models up to 2017 and beyond. This could create up to 200 jobs over this period at the site.

Meanwhile, a further 100 jobs are to be created when a new £12 million food factory opens in Norton at the end of April The Rosti McKechnie plant currently employs more than 400 people in a vast array of technical disciplines.

To accommodate this growth, Rosti McKechnie has said it will need to invest in new machinery and processes, along with building a new storage and logistics facility on the current site. Work will start shortly on recruiting the new staff who will join in 2014.

John Woodhead, plant director at Pickering, said: “This is fantastic news for the company. The investment planned can only be positive for the loyal workforce we have, while creating further opportunities in the area.

“The local community has been very supportive of our business over the years and that support will again be vital as we embark on this latest development.”

Julian Rudd, head of economy and infrastructure at Ryedale District Council, said: “The staff at Rosti McKechnie have shown the ability of Ryedale companies to compete on the world stage and come out on top.

“This is another excellent result for the Ryedale economy, on top of the recent announcement of 800 new jobs at the Food and Research Agency site at Sand Hutton.”

McKechnie Plastic Components has traded from the Westgate Carr Road facility in Pickering since 1969, in partnership with customers like Jaguar Land Rover, Ford, Plastic Omnium and Hewlett Packard.

In the last four years, sales have expanded by more than 35 per cent, and in 2012, the company was bought by the Swedish headquartered Rosti group.

In addition to the Pickering facility and its sister plant at Stamford Bridge, Rosti has hi-tech injection moulding operations in seven countries around the world and has an annual turnover in excess of 320m Euros.

In Norton, a further 100 jobs are to be created at the new factory on the Norton Grove Industrial Estate, by the time it is up to full capacity over the next two years.Hull-based Cranswick has teamed up with Norton firm Yorkshire Baker to expand its production of pies and savouries.

The new company – Cranswick Gourmet Pastry Company – will continue to use Yorkshire Baker as its leading brand, while developing own-label produce for Marks and Spencer.

Jim Brisby, Cranswick sales and marketing director, said the factory had been built for the future to allow the company to continue to develop.

“We are on target for completion by the end of April and have made significant progress of late with everything running on track,” he said.

“Creating 100 jobs in the area is pretty significant and is something we are very pleased and excited about. The factory will continue to use very traditional methods and we will not change anything in the process of the products. However, we will continue to expand our customer base and launch new products.

“We have plenty of very exciting opportunities for people who perhaps have existing expertise in bakery and meat production or are looking to learn new skills through our training,” he said.

• A public exhibition is to take place at Pickering Memorial Hall on Saturday, March 16, 2.30pm-6pm, to explain the proposed changes at the Rosti McKechnie site in Pickering, including the new storage building that will be the subject of a forthcoming planning application.

People will be able to give their comments and discuss how to apply for the new jobs at Rosti McKechnie.