Leading building products manufacturer Forterra has reached the first milestone of its £27m investment in Staffordshire as demolition begins at its Wilnecote factory.
Demolition of the 30 year old factory makes way for a modernised facility, bringing it up to current standards of efficiency and sustainability.
The redevelopment project will include a new kiln, dryers and handling equipment installed and will allow the factory to create a wider array of high-quality brick products, including increased production of the famous Staffordshire Blue Brick. These changes should enable production of 35 million bricks a year, increasing productivity by about 40%.
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 exterior of Forterra’s Wilnecote factory before demolition
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.”
Demolition will take place in sections, with the final area of the factory expected to be demolished in December. It is anticipated that the factory will close for around nine months to allow for construction, with staff being redeployed to other locations for the duration until the upgraded factory re-opens at the end of 2023.
This is the second Forterra site to undergo substantial changes this year as work is ongoing at its Desford site in Leicestershire, where a £95m project will transform it into the largest and most energy efficient brick factory in Europe, doubling its capacity to 180 million bricks annually.
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