HUDSON, Ill. (AP) — A Canadian company that plans to make grain-handling equipment in a central Illinois village has closed on a building that will house its new plant.

Brandt Group of Companies closed Friday on a former Kongskilde Industries plant in Hudson, paving the way for it to begin hiring the first of what could eventually number 500 workers.

Brandt chairman Gavin Semple tells The (Bloomington) Pantagraph the plant in the community just north of Normal will need some cleaning and minor modifications but it's essentially ready to go.

He says more than 1,000 people have applied to work at the new Brandt plant, which is expected to employ between 50 and 70 when production begins, possibly in March.

The company plans to make grain handling equipment, including augers and belt tube conveyors.

___

Information from: The Pantagraph, http://www.pantagraph.com