One of the biggest employers in Kirklees is to create 74 new full-time jobs.

Batley-based Fox’s Biscuits are taking on more staff because of increased demand for its products.

Batley and Spen Labour MP Tracy Brabin learned of the good news on a visit to the factory in Wellington Street.

Former TV soap actor Ms Brabin, who worked at Fox’s as a teenager, said: “I am thrilled to hear that a fantastic local business that is so committed to the community is continuing to thrive at a time of great economic uncertainty.

“I was also very encouraged to hear about the firm’s dedication to training and upskilling their staff – something that is vital with the increased automation of industry we will see over the coming years.

Batley & Spen MP Tracy Brabin with Fox's Biscuits general manager Stephen Mulligan on a visit to the Batley factory.

“Fox’s Biscuits is an extremely important business here in Batley and I look back fondly on my time on the production lines in my late teens. I hope the business continues to thrive and remains an integral part of the Batley landscape for decades to come.”

Fox’s has 700 full-time, permanent employees and, including temporary workers, its workforce can swell to 1,300 during times of peak demand, such as in the run up to Christmas.

The Batley biscuit giant produces an average of 550 tonnes of biscuits a week and has a big involvement in the local community, sponsoring the town’s rugby league club Batley Bulldogs.

Fox’s, founded in Batley in 1853, is now owned by the 2 Sisters Food Group and makes brands including Crunch Creams, Chunkie Cookies and Rocky chocolate biscuits.

Fox’s are in ongoing discussions with existing employees and the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union about proposed changes to current shift patterns to accommodate the new jobs.

Stephen Mulligan, Fox’s Biscuits general manager, said: “We are really pleased to announce these new roles. Fox’s Biscuits are very proud of our heritage in Batley and to be able to play such a key part in the local community.

“We’re delighted by the continued support Tracy gives to Fox’s Biscuits and we will continue to grow this relationship.”