Health food company plans new plant for Kilkenny city, but it has a hurdle to jump
A highly successful health food company which supplies some of Europe’s largest supermarkets is looking to create a manufacturing facility in Kilkenny creating 20 jobs in the process.
Virginia Health Foods has identified a site just outside of Kilkenny city, which they say is the perfect location for their new facility as it fits into the ethos of the company. However, the site is currently used as an equestrian centre and would require a change of use by Kilkenny County Council.
The Kinsale-based company has lodged plans with the local authority to transform an existing equestrian events and conference centre at Wallslough Holiday Village into a light industrial unit for dry foods processing and packaging.
Virginia Health Foods says 20 new jobs would be created if permission is granted to go ahead with the new facility. However, the health food company says if the council refuses permission for the change of use, Virginia will be forced to explore other sites outside of Kilkenny as they have exhausted all other options within the county.
The application states: “If for any reason Virginia are unable to utilise this unit at Wallslough as a storage and production facility it is inevitable the this prestigious and innovative company will not be in a position to establish their business in county Kilkenny and this will be a considerable loss to the local economy.”
Virginia Health Food’s products range from gluten free baking mixes to nutritious seed mixes for cereal toppings, crunch toppings, salad toppings and snacks.
Apart from producing their own products, Virginia also supplies ranges to supermarkets such as Dunnes Stores, Tesco, Sainbury’s, ASDA and Et Corts Ingles.