Ibstock Brick last week welcomed the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to open its new factory.
The brickmaker currently produces more than 850 million bricks a year at 20 factories across the UK.
It says that its investment in the new brickworks, which is the most sustainable and efficient of its kind, is a statement of its commitment to supporting the government’s plan to deliver 1.5million homes by 2020.
The new factory, which has been named Eclipse, will more than double brick production at the company’s Leicestershire headquarters to 190 million soft mud bricks a year. It will provide enough volume to build 10,000 to 15,000 additional new homes each year.
Opening the factory, The Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said: “This government is determined to build a housing market fit for the future, and Ibstock Brick’s new factory will play an important role in the construction supply chain, supporting housebuilding across the country.
“Producing around 100 million more bricks a year, the site will not only support the local economy and provide local jobs, but will also help us to build the next generation of homes our country needs.”
The Secretary of State was accompanied by Andrew Bridgen, MP for North West Leicestershire.
Bridgen said: “Ibstock Brick’s new Eclipse factory is a significant investment in our local economy. It sends a signal across the East Midlands, and indeed the rest of the UK, that Leicestershire is leading the way in British manufacturing excellence. This factory is a beacon of sustainability best practice; both in terms of its low impacts on the environment and its connection and engagement with the local community. I am delighted to be a part of today’s proceedings and very proud that the Eclipse factory will bring continued growth to my constituency.”
Joe Hudson, Chief Executive Officer of Ibstock PLC, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome the Secretary of State and Mr Bridgen MP to our new factory today. We are extremely proud of Eclipse and we welcome the opportunity to share it with them. This is not only British manufacturing at its best; it is proof of our commitment to support the construction sector deliver on the Government’s ambition to build new homes and infrastructure. Our investment will also bring significant benefits to the local economy in terms of employment, opportunity and skills.
“We hope that our Eclipse factory sends a powerful message to everyone in the housing and construction supply chain that we are doing more than any other UK supplier to meet their needs in terms of availability, quality and service.”
Ibstock says the new Eclipse factory takes 21st century British manufacturing excellence to a new level. Located on an old landfill site and close to its principal source of raw materials, it covers an area the size of six football pitches. State of the art robotic technology ensures precision and efficiency, while innovative building design concepts and sensitive landscaping will reduce the company’s environmental impact and demand on natural resources.