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Forterra to invest £27m at Staffordshire brick factory
Building products manufacturer Forterra is set to invest £27m at its brick factory in Wilnecote, Staffordshire.
The investment will see a modernisation of the facility, which has been in operation for 30 years, bringing it up to current standards of efficiency and sustainability.
With an expected product output boost of 20%, the redevelopment project will include the installation of a new kiln, dryers and handling equipment and will allow the factory to create a wider array of high-quality brick products, including increasing production of its Staffordshire Blue Brick.
It will also provide Forterra with further opportunity for new contracts within the commercial and specifications markets including supplying materials for larger construction projects, such as schools and hospitals.
The announcement comes after a positive half-year end for the manufacturer, with an increase in demand from the expanding housing and property market.
Stephen Harrison, chief executive of Forterra, said: “As one of Britain’s biggest manufacturers of building products, we endeavour to set the benchmark in terms of manufacturing efficiency, output and sustainability.
“In keeping with our strategic focus on manufacturing excellence, our new facility in Wilnecote will allow us to respond to the increasing demand for bricks as the rate of housebuilding continues to accelerate nationwide and crucially balance this with a greater reach into the commercial and specifications markets.”
Work on the factory is expected to begin in late 2022, with the factory closing for around nine months to allow for construction. The upgraded factory will re-open in 2023.
Forterra is currently working on a £95m project to transform its Desford site in Leicestershire into the largest and most energy efficient brick factory in Europe, doubling its capacity to 180 million bricks annually – enough to build 24,000 average-sized family homes.