Leading lightweight construction manufacturer, Etex, has been given the green light by North Somerset Council to expand its Bristol manufacturing facility by almost double.
The £140m investment into the former brownfield site is expected to increase production capacity for Etex’s Siniat brand by over 50% and will contribute to the local economy by creating more than 50 new jobs at the site, set to open in 2023. The business will also use the expansion to encourage more young people to enter the manufacturing sector through its tailor-made Operator Apprenticeship scheme, designed to meet future skills requirements.
The state-of-the-art manufacturing facility will have a core focus on sustainability, utilising a rainwater harvesting system, solar PV, electric car charging points and eventually a fully electric forklift fleet. The extra space will also support Etex in meeting one of its core circular economy objectives of achieving 30% post-consumer gypsum in its plasterboard by 2025. While Etex is already leading post-consumer gypsum recycling in Europe, reprocessing more than 120,000 tonnes of recovered gypsum per year, the expansion will significantly increase its capabilities.
As demand for its plasterboard products grows, the plant’s proximity to the Royal Portbury Dock will allow Etex to seamlessly import raw materials for its products via the Bristol channel.
Neil Shaw, Country Manager (UK & Ireland) at Etex said: “The extension of our Bristol facility will significantly increase our production capacity in the UK, at a time when our plasterboard solutions are in high demand which is currently outstripping industry supply availability. We’re extremely confident that the underlying upward trend in demand for our product will continue, so being able to produce and supply it in significantly larger quantities will be crucial, not only to the growth of our business, but also in supporting the wider construction industry’s growth challenges.
“Investing in a site with sustainability and future-oriented technology at its core was a crucial consideration, as we work towards a number of ambitious sustainability targets over the coming years,” Shaw continued.
In line with this focus on sustainability, Etex has also agreed to contribute £10,000 towards pedestrian and cycle improvements to improve access to the site.