Saint Gobain: £120 Million Investment Makes The Best British

Britain is now home to two of the world’s most advanced plaster and plasterboard manufacturing plants following a £120-million investment in production capacity by British Gypsum.

Opened earlier this month in Sherburn-in-Elmet, near Leeds and East Leake, in Leicestershire, the two plants lead the global industry in terms of their capabilities and design, and are already operating to World Class Manufacturing standards.

Both plants have been built to meet growing product demand coupled with a need to expand capacity to meet the requirements of changing UK Building Regulations, which have increased the standard for acoustic performance in new dwellings.

By increasing capacity for both plaster and plasterboard products, British Gypsum, already the UK’s leading manufacturer of drywall products and systems, will ensure that the UK construction industry’s increasing demand for these products can be met.

The £120-million project is already being hailed as a world-class example of best practice in business planning and project management with both plants being completed on schedule.

Mike Chaldecott, Managing Director of British Gypsum said: “As the UK’s leading supplier of plasterboard and gypsum plasters, we are committed to ongoing investment in state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities that lead the market and enable us to support the UK construction industry.

“Demand for both plaster and plasterboard products continues to increase, driven by the new Regulations and other key factors such as the move away from traditional construction techniques, increased public spending on housing and education, and activity surrounding the 2012 London Olympics. It is essential that we have the production capacity to satisfy this market growth and the new plants in North Yorkshire and Leicestershire will enable us to do this.”

Both the plaster and plasterboard markets have consistently outperformed the general construction market for a number of years and British Gypsum is predicting that this will continue for the foreseeable future, with year-on-year demand growth of around 4.5% throughout 2007 and 2008.

The East Leake plant was opened this month by The Right Honourable Kenneth Clarke QC MP. It will manufacture British Gypsum’s ‘Thistle’ finishing plasters and ‘Gyproc Drywall Adhesive’ from the high-grade natural gypsum rock that is extracted and processed at the site’s existing mine, which has undergone a £7-million redevelopment as part of this project.

The Sherburn in Elmet plant was opened by the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of British Gypsum’s parent company, Saint-Gobain. It will manufacture a full range of plasterboard products.

Both sites were chosen by British Gypsum because of their excellent logistics and proximity to raw material sources, as well as their long standing links with the local communities and local availability of skilled workers.

British Gypsum employs 1450 people at five major manufacturing sites throughout the UK.

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