LONG-established Blackburn firm Pet’s Choice is set to move from its home in Gladstone Street to new premises on the Whitebirk Industrial Estate to preserve 140 jobs and potentially create 50 new ones.

The company, founded in 1881 by the Davies family, hopes its new factory will enable it to expand.

It manufactures the Webbox brand of chub rolls, complete dog food and the award-winning Cats Delight sticks, sold in major retailers across the UK.

It also produces the Original Davies hypo-allergenic foods and treats for dogs available from many independent stores, and the Pet’s Choice food for ornamental fish, stocked nationwide through the independent pet trade.

The company also manufactures own-label food and treat products for dogs, cats, ornamental fish and small animals for major stores.

The firm, currently based at Greenbank House in Gladstone Street, Little Harwood, has applied for planning permission to partially demolish an existing building in Lower Philips Road, Whitebirk and build a new two-storey office block and single-storey factory.

The application, submitted to Blackburn with Darwen Council by the Craven Design Partnership of Burnley, said: “The development will secure the relocation of 140 jobs within the borough and will create an additional 50 full-term jobs.”

It will be considered by councillors on the planning committee tomorrow and has been recommended for approval by officials.

The proposal would extend the current 12,750m2 base by 375m2 and involve re-cladding the factory, partial re-roofing and the installation of roof-mounted flues. Additional parking will be provided and a new security fence.

The report by officials to the committee said: “The alterations have been designed to enhance the appearance of the building and to ensure the extension will harmonise with the original parts of the building.”

Blackburn MP Jack Straw said: “This development is good for the company, good for jobs, good for Blackburn and good for pets.”