Modernization of Staffordshire brick factory set to boost production by 20% and improve sustainability
FORTERRA are set to invest £27 million in their Wilnecote brick factory in Staffordshire. The investment will see a modernization of the facility, which has been in operation for 30 years, bringing it up to current standards of efficiency and sustainability.
Expected to deliver a production 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 increased production of the famous 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 result, with an increase in demand thanks to the expanding housing and property market.
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 in Wilnecote will allow us to respond to the increasing demand for bricks as the rate of house building 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 reopen in 2023.
Forterra are also currently working on a £95 million project to transform their 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.