A WORLD-FAMOUS jam making factory has provided more than a dozen brand new homes for their employees to rent.

Wilkin & Sons, of Tiptree, handed 13 brand new one, two and three-bedroom homes to staff and their families with the chairman of the company, Walter Scott, cutting the ribbon to the nine-acre development.

A group of residents looked on as the homes were revealed.

The row of houses opposite Brook Road, which is directly opposite the world renowned jam producer’s factory, was seen as a “lovely opportunity” to add to its portfolio of 75 homes which have been built across Tiptree.

Mr Scott said: “We hope the staff will all be very happy – at least they already know their neighbours.”

For a century Wilkin & Sons has been building homes for its staff to live in.

Throughout the Victorian times, the business did the same as many others who built huge developments for employees.

Among the most noteworthy was Cadbury’s.

The confectionery giant built a community in Bourneville, which eventually came to be the inspiration for its dark chocolate range.

Other groups including Levers and Sir Titus Salt developed new homes to keep their workforces close, while Francis Henry Crittall planned to build a model village in Silver End.

While many have stopped offering these types of developments, Wilkin & Sons is among very few that still do.

The Tiptree business has a range of homes, varying from one-bedroom flats to large family homes.

The group even has a range of retirement bungalows to give former employees a place to live even after their career is over.

While maintaining tradition the company has continued to modernise, 130 years after the business started.

In January a new green energy centre was unveiled behind the factory itself.

Mr Scott added: “We are proud to continue the Wilkin & Sons tradition of providing local homes for our staff.

“I can remember when the site was a field.

“Now there are homes and open spaces for local families just a few steps away from their work.”