The eight-acre site will initially accommodate a 5,500m2 factory designed to output 80,000 tonnes of facade renders and tiling adhesives annually. This is in addition to Weber’s existing manufacturing sites in Flitwick, Bedfordshire and Ballyclare, Northern Ireland which will remain fully operational.
The design follows an architectural and technical template already successfully employed by Weber in several other European countries and will include the iconic 33m high round production tower which will be an easily identifiable feature on the local landscape. Presently there are 27 worldwide Weber locations.
“The new facility will effectively free up capacity in the Bedfordshire factory where our technical mortars will continue to be produced,” says Kevin Medhurst, Plant Manager. “Construction forecasts and trends for the UK and Ireland identify the need for increased capacity across all of our business activities and the new facility means we will no longer have to rely on costly imported raw materials from our sister companies. This will enhance our customer service with controlled costs and faster turn round, and reduce those expensive travel miles.” Render products and tile adhesives and grouts will primarily be manufactured at Telford.
In size, the Telford site is one and a half times that of the Bedfordshire facility providing opportunity for further development in the longer term. “This is only the first stage of our UK expansion plans in what will undoubtedly be Weber’s flagship plant. There is the potential for considerable investment here,” continues Kevin.
Although largely a mechanical manufacturing process, Weber expects to provide up to 30 job placements across manufacturing, administration, distribution and logistics when the factory is up to full capacity.
The new factory is designed to minimise energy use and meets the most stringent emissions criteria. Extensive site restoration and landscaping will be made on completion. This facility will be BREEAM certified, being the world’s most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings, and contribute to the sustainability of modern structures.
Joining the Weber project team at the ceremonial ‘breaking of the sod’ were members from Transforming Telford, the economic regeneration company responsible for creating sustainable communities, stimulating economic growth and improving employment opportunities. Weber and Transforming Telford have worked closely with English Partnership, from whom the land was purchased, the Government’s national regeneration agency which aims to deliver high quality, sustainable growth in England.
Chris Baker, Senior Development Manager at English Partnerships said: “We are delighted to have been able to contribute to the growth of Telford and that Weber has chosen this location for its flagship plant in the UK. This type of industrial development will encourage the continued economic regeneration of Telford.”
Sarah Raper, Chief Executive of Transforming Telford said: “This is great news for Telford as building technologies is an important sector. We are delighted that a market leader like Weber recognises the potential and that this new build will be a showcase for the company. We look forward to working with them to develop the sector further.”