HRH the Duke of Kent has formally opened a new factory extension for Naylor Industries. The £5m investment will allow the construction products company to make larger diameter pipes to carry big volumes of surface water, helping protect Britain against flooding from extreme weather.

The family-owned company has installed a high-tech production line to manufacture large diameter plastic drainage pipes for its customers in the infrastructure, agriculture and utilities markets.

The previous major development took place in 2008, when the company completed a £4m investment in Cawthorne production facilities to manufacture 600mm diameter pipe, helping the company to accelerate out of the last recession.

The new project will manufacture double-walled pipes which are larger still - 750mm, 900mm and 1050mm diameter.

The Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership provided a £615,000 grant to support the project. While the main plant was purchased from its German machinery supplier, around a dozen local suppliers were engaged in the factory extension project and enabling works.

The project creates 20 new jobs on the Cawthorne site, including a number of highly skilled engineering roles and a team of Naylor employees was sent to Germany for training with the new equipment.

Every year, the Naylor group manufactures enough pipe to stretch around the world, twice. The new investment dramatically increases the capacity of the company’s Cawthorne site, which already manufactures up to 50 miles of pipe per day.

Edward Naylor CEO said: “We progressed this development despite the outcome of the Brexit referendum.

“Although this has introduced some uncertainty into our key markets, we hope in due course to get our share of the big infrastructure projects which are in the pipeline such as the high-speed rail, smart motorway and nuclear power projects”