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Princess Royal officially opens Wrights new £6m confectionery factory

Princess Anne has officially opened Wrights Pies new £6 million confectionery plant in Crewe.

The visit by Her Royal Highness to the company's Weston Road headquarters is a major highlight of their 90th anniversary celebrations.

The Princess Royal was welcomed at the baker's state-of-the-art plant by Wright's Chairman and Chief Executive Peter Wright, who introduced her to his father and retired director Peter J Wright, the son of Wrights founder John James Wright, who set up the business in 1926.

The Royal visitor met with other members of the Wright family, senior members of the management team, long serving employees, including Charlie Hampson, from logistics, who has worked there for 33 years and Wrights ambassador and Britain's strongest man Eddie Hall.

During a tour of the confectionery manufacturing lines, Princess Anne saw cakes being hand-decorated, novelty biscuit production, the latest time-saving spiral freezers and ultra sonic robotic cutting equipment.

Following the tour, Her Royal Highness unveiled a commemorative plaque watched by special guests and the Deputy Lieutenant of Cheshire John Lea, and Deputy Mayor of Cheshire East Councillor Arthur Moran.

She then signed the company's visitors book, before Peter Wright presented her with a commemorative gift of a cut glass Wedgwood cake stand, a knife and a cake slice.

The 40,000 sq ft, fully automated confectionery plant employs around 100 staff and produces millions of products a year, including 900,000 doughnuts a week, 26m cookies, plus cakes, scones, mince pies and biscuits.

 

Her Royal Highness also visited the Bentley Motors headquarters in the town to open a new research and development centre at Pyms Lane – which is home to more than 400 Bentley engineers. 

The new building covers 7,200 square metres over four storeys and was constructed in just seven months. The building marks the first stage of Bentley’s headquarter expansion which continues to develop the site as an industry-leading, modern, efficient manufacturing facility. 

Commenting on the visit, Wolfgang Dürheimer, Bentley Chairman and CEO, said: “Our research and development centre, is where a new generation of Bentleys will be developed, which will continue our commitment to luxury, performance, quality and engineering excellence. 

“We are honoured that we could welcome Her Royal Highness once again to our expanding headquarters, not just to celebrate the continued evolution of our site, but to demonstrate first-hand the skill of our engineers, craftspeople and trainees here in Crewe.”

Before unveiling a plaque to officially open the new building, The Princess Royal visited Bentley’s flagship showroom, CW1 House, and then toured the main production facility where the company’s four model lines, Bentayga, Continental, Flying Spur and Mulsanne are handcrafted. 

Her Royal Highness also met both apprentices and colleagues working on bespoke training islands in wood and leather, learning more about Bentley’s innovative approach to training young people and continuously improving the skills of colleagues in all areas of the business. 

Bentley’s manufacturing apprenticeship programme has recently received national recognition by The Princess Royal herself, being named outstanding by the inaugural Princess Royal Training Awards, created to recognise learning and skills development in industry. Her Royal Highness will host the Awards ceremony at St James’s Palace in November.

 

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