Forterra to invest £27 million into Staffordshire brick factory

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Building products manufactuer Forterra is investing £27 million into its Staffordshire brick factory – to improve its ‘efficiency and sustainability.’

The company – which employs around 1,800 people in the UK across 18 manufacturing facilities – is making the commitment at its Wilnecote brick factory, near Tamworth.

The investment will see the facility – which has been in operation for 30 years – modernised and brought up to current standards, while a new kiln, dryers and handling equipment will also be installed.

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The company says the improvements will allow the factory to create a ‘wider array of high-quality brick products’ and boost productivity by 20 per cent – including increasing the 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.

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.”

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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 re-open in 2023.

Forterra is currently working on a £95 million project to transform its 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.

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