Carr’s biscuit factory to build ‘cracker packers’ statue

Pladis-owned Carr’s Biscuits will create a statue to commemorate its “cracker packers” [women workers of the factory] over the last generation near to its factory in Carlisle.

The bronze sculpture, which is set to cost around £70,000 and will stand at 5ft 4ins, will portray two women working at the famous Caldewgate factory and will be built next to Paddy’s Market car park.

Hazel Reeves, a Sussex-based artist, has been commissioned to design the statue, which is due to be unveiled on International Women's Day next year (8 March 2018).

The majority of the funding will come from major retailer Sainsbury’s as part of the development of its Caldewgate superstore, with the McVitie’s parent company, Pladis, also contributing. Hunter Davies, who wrote the book The Biscuit Girls, which tells the lives of women at the factory, will also contribute £5,000 to the cost.

Mike Heaney, factory general manager, said the company was proud that its factory was part of the fabric of the community.

“This commission reflects and celebrates a key element of Carlisle’s distinctive social and industrial history,” Heaney said.

“This public art work will help honour those who have helped shape our town’s history, and we can’t wait for the unveiling next year.”

The factory produces 80,000 tonnes of biscuits a year and employs around 600 people.

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