Building work has started on a £2m extension to Lewis Pies’ factory in Swansea, which will boost production of savoury pies, pas-ties and sausage rolls.

Part-funded by the Welsh Assembly government, the first phase of the project is due to be completed in May, with the opening of a new 10,500sq ft factory extension, boosting production space by around 25%. The extension will house a new butchery, packing area and extended free-zing operation, including a new eco-friendly blast freezer. A state-of-the-art test kitchen is also planned.

Later in the year, phase two of the expansion will see the installation of a new pie and slice line. The increased capacity will enable Lewis Pies to increase its UK sales, as well as grow its export business to Spain and Portugal, said national accounts manager Dave Phillips.

The company has appointed Jim Watkiss, formerly of Peter Hunt’s, to head up its export business from an office in Portugal.