A ROYAL visitor is coming to Middlewich today.

The Duke of Kent is celebrating the 50th anniversary of British Salt and will be officially opening a new £600,000 automated packing line.

In the 50 years since its launch, British Salt has grown to become one of the UK’s leading salt producers, having manufactured more than 30 million tonnes of salt.

The Duke will be greeted by Lord Lieutenant David Briggs and directors of the company.

The party will then take a tour of the site, culminating in the official opening of the new high-speed packing line.

Afterwards British Salt is hosting a community spirited afternoon tea.

The Duke will meet some current British Salt employees including apprentices, pupils from St Mary’s and Cledford primary schools, representatives from local charities and local dignitaries.

The Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, chief executive of Cheshire East Council, the management of British Salt and directors of parent company, Tata Chemicals Europe will also join the tea party.

Stephen Crabb, head of operations at British Salt said: "We’re delighted to be celebrating our 50th anniversary in such good company.

READ > Charity supporting homeless young women hosts open day

"We’ve long been a major employer in the area and it’s important to us that the Duke has the opportunity to meet the community who all help to make British Salt the special company that we’re proud to be a part of.’’