Richardson International plans on building a new $20 million food research and development centre in downtown Winnipeg.

Tracey Shelton, director of corporate communications, says they hope they will be in a position to start building by the fall. At this point, the company is looking at spaces within a couple blocks of the Richardson building, which is at the corner or Portage Avenue and Main Street.

"I think it's definitely a plus for Winnipeg. We're the leading Canadian agri-business and we want to invest in a centre in Winnipeg to continue what we've been doing here," she says. 

Shelton says they've considered the Hudson's Bay Company building, but thinks it would be too far, and says they would prefer building on vacant land, rather than moving into an existing building. However, they're considering all options.

Currently Richardson has 400 people employed in their Winnipeg office. Shelton says they are not yet sure of the number of people that will be employed in the new building, though they'll need people to work with their new canola and oat based products. 

"Some of the jobs would be scientists and researchers," says Shelton

Shelton says it will take up to two years to complete the multi-storey complex once a site is chosen.