Work on a new £100m manufacturing plant for AkzoNobel in the North East got under way today (21st June), following a groundbreaking ceremony attended by the famous Dulux Dog.
The world-class high-tech manufacturing facility will become the heart of AkzoNobel’s UK Decorative Paints operations, and will treble the North-East manufacturing capability of the UK’s decorative paints business.
The move to Ashington reinforces AkzoNobel’s commitment to ensuring that some of its most recognisable brands continue to be manufactured in the UK, with a particular focus on the north-east. It follows a series of significant investments in the company’s fire protection facility, and research facilities at its Felling, Tyne and Wear site.
The famous Dulux Dog attended the groundbreaking ceremony to represent one of AkzoNobel’s most iconic brands, which also include Polycell, Cuprinol and Hammerite.
“We are delighted that the building of our world-class factory is commencing today,” said AkzoNobel’s UK Country Director, Guy Williams. “This is a huge step for AkzoNobel and for the region, and our new plant will be producing paint sustainably for generations to come. This site and build gives us the opportunity to inspire the community, customers, and employees and to be an inspiring colour partner.”
The new site, due to commence operations in late 2014, will halve AkzoNobel’s environmental impact in the North-East, reducing energy consumption per litre of paint produced by 60% compared to today’s operations. This will be achieved by employing cutting-edge manufacturing technology and the latest in building design, whilst also making large sustainability improvements by recycling and reusing waste and water – examples of technology to be used include:
• A Biomass boiler providing a renewable source of heat
• Solar panels on the roof providing a renewable source of electricity
• Rainwater harvesting into the process water
At the end of 2014, AkzoNobel plans to close its current site in nearby Prudhoe and its manufacturing operations in Slough. Slough will remain the headquarters for the UK Decorative Paints business for marketing and global research and development. The Company is committed to ensuring appropriate support and development is in place for those employees at the current decorative paints factories who wish to move to the new site.