NEW investment from one of Carlisle's biggest employers is safeguarding the future of its twice-flooded factory and its 750-strong workforce.

Pladis has decided to invest in and improve its McVitie's factory in Caldewgate by installing flood resilient measures.

The firm has just been granted planning permission to partially demolish sections of existing boundary walls and construct new flood resilient ones to the north and east of its sprawling historic site.

A statement submitted to planners said: "The flood incidents of 2005 and 2015 in Carlisle resulted in the site being inoperable for a number of months, causing significant business disruption.

"The business has taken the decision to protect the site and its 750 employees' future by investing in the site and protecting it from any future floods."

Mike Heaney, the factory's general manager, said: "We’re proud that our factory is part of the fabric of Carlisle’s community and appreciate the support we’ve received to help restore it following last year’s flood.

"The efforts of our pladis team, far and wide has enabled us to reopen the factory after just four months.

"As you can see, we’re still in the process of making improvements to safeguard our factory and we are truly thankful for the tireless efforts of our team to help us continue to bake our much loved biscuits."

The news has been welcomed by the city's council leader Colin Glover.

He told The Cumberland News: "Post-floods there's always anxiety when people have been affected a second time, particularly when there are lots of jobs at stake.

"But I'm really pleased that the company has stayed committed to Carlisle and put the factory back into full production and now is looking to make the plant more resilient.

"It shows a real commitment to the city and that can only be a good thing, protecting the jobs there too, and it shows there is a confidence in Carlisle as a place to invest."

The factory was inundated by water when Storm Desmond hit in December.

Production at the factory was halted on December 5 due to substantial flood damage to electrical equipment and ovens.

After being submerged in 39.2 million litres of water, 540 tonnes of debris was cleared from the site to allow normal production to get going again.

The Prince of Wales visited the site in the wake of the floods as part of a a trip to see the city’s floods fightback.