Glass factory to create 400 jobs

A new £120m glass packaging and distribution plant will create almost 400 jobs in Ellesmere Port.The North West Development Agency yesterday confirmed a £4.9m grant to Northern Ireland-based Quinn Glass.

The plant and a single furnace will be built at the site of the former Ince power station which will create 370 jobs by 2007.It will include one of the largest automated warehouses in Europe, capable of storing more than 150,000 pallets of filled and unfilled glass containers.The plant will also be one of only a handful worldwide that can manufacture and fill bottles at the same time.Quinns have chosen to site their new factory in the North West over an alternative in Nord Pas de Calais in northern France.Donal O'Donnell, Quinn Glass director, said: "We looked at sites around Europe and selected the North West as the best location due to the fantastic skills base and excellent transport links."I am really looking forward to entering the UK market and building on our success in Ireland."

He added: "The help of the local authorities, the NWDA and and the local communities has been crucial to bringing this project to fruition.

"Construction will begin next month and capital expenditure on the project is expected to be around £120m.

"The plant is unique in the UK glass industry and will be in a position to provide a very competitive glass packaging and distribution service for the UK drinks industry."

Construction work on the plant and furnace will begin after last-minute environment concerns from Ellesmere Port and Neston Council were allayed. The company also has an option to add a second furnace to the scheme which will take the number of jobs to 500.

Steven Broomhead, chief executive of the NWDA, said: "I am proud to support this major investment in the North West by Quinn Glass.

"The North West was recently named by Invest UK as the UK's top region for job creation, and this will further build on the success, providing a powerful catalyst for even further investment."

Quinn Glass, based in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, was set up in 1998.

The Ellesmere Port staff will be trained by the Learning and Skills Council which will offer apprenticeships for 16 to 25-year-olds.

Julia Dowd, executive director for Cheshire, said: "We have put together a training and development package worth £700,000 for local people in response to this announcement."

600450 Glass factory to create 400 jobs

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