Planners give company the go-ahead for a £95 million investment in new production facility
FORTERRA are set to commence a £95 million project to double production capacity at their Desford plant, having this week received planning permission for a new manufacturing facility, subject to certain conditions and a legal agreement.
The major investment is expected to transform Forterra’s Desford facility, in Leicestershire, into the largest and most efficient brick factory in Europe, whilst also increasing the company’s overall production capacity and consolidating its role in the future of UK house building.
With a current output of 85 million bricks per year, the Desford plant’s production capacity is set to double in the next three years, as a result of the investment, to 180 million bricks annually – enough to build 24,000 average-sized family homes. On a company-wide scale, this will increase Forterra’s overall brick production capacity by 16%.
The twofold increase in output at Desford will be achieved through the construction of a new, modern facility with state-of-the-art automated processes that will minimize the plant’s environmental impact. The new premises will be built alongside the current factory, with the latter remaining operational to maintain production during the changeover.
Situated two miles from the M1, the modernized Desford site will offer a range of red and buff bricks to meet the demands of house builders. Production is expected to commence in 2022, by which time the company’s overall production capacity is projected to be close to 0.7 billion bricks per annum.
Forterra’s chief executive, Stephen Harrison, 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’s modern manufacturing methods will allow us to respond to our customers’ increasing demand for products as the rate of house building continues to accelerate nationwide.
‘We have every confidence that this project marks a sound long-term investment in the future of both Forterra and UK house building.’