Up to 70 jobs are to be created in the next five years after plastics manufacturer Craemer planted the first shovel in the ground for its new automated factory in Telford.
The German wheelie bins manufacturer, Creamer, which makes products for half of all the UK’s local authorities, is building a new automated factory on Hortonwood West to add to its existing Hortonwood site nearby.
The company already employs 65 people in Telford.
Steve Poppitt, managing director of Craemer UK, said: “This latest significant investment by our German parent company represents an important step in the continual development and expansion of our UK manufacturing operation.
“We continue to build on the remarkable success and growth we have achieved.”
The factory will be in addition to its current site, and will allow the company to introduce new larger machinery as it diversifies its products.
The new site is already home to Rosewood Pet Products, which moved onto the site from Broseley earlier this year, and is soon set to welcome more new factories.
A new entrance to the estate is also being built on the A442, with backing from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership.
The company’s UK managing director Steve Poppitt said: “This will be an extension of our existing plastics injection moulding facility in Telford.
“It will open up new markets for us. We are investing significantly in new products and technologies, and we envisage in the next five years we will create an addition 70 jobs. We are investing in much bigger machines and in assembly automation.”
Craemer has expanded at its Telford site in the last 10 years, and has grown its share of the UK wheelie bin market from five to 45% over that time. It turns out one million of the roadside bins from its Telford factory a year.
Since opening its existing Telford factory in 2006, Craemer UK’s turnover has risen 500% to £25.5m.
Dr Achim Brandenburg, the German company group’s senior managing partner, said: “We have grown in Telford and we feel very much at home here. It has a great location that’s central in the UK, and it’s very important to us that all our sites are as close together as possible.
“We are not able to expand on Hortonwood, but it’s not very far away. It had to be somewhere very close.”
He added that the company was not overly concerned about Brexit impacting on the UK business, whose current biggest customer base is UK-based councils.
The company also has a metal forming division in Germany which supplies to the UK car manufacturing sector.
Dr Brandenburg said: “We don’t feel concerned because we feel there will be a mutually satisfactory solution.
“I believe there will be a positive outcome because there is no other solution – otherwise it would be a catastrophe for the UK and the rest of Europe.”
The land has been developed as part of Telford & Wrekin Council’s Land Deal with the Homes and Communities Agency.