Specialist European construction materials giant moves to UK production.
Leading European specialist drainage systems manufacturer Kijlstra is set to open a new UK production facility for precast offsite drainage products to facilitate further expansion.
The company, which has its UK head office near Alderminster, Warwickshire, has acquired the former 8,000m2, 29-acre site tarmac factory in Henlade near Taunton, which will undergo a major re-fit programme ready for production, which is planned to start in January 2015.
Renowned throughout Europe for their customised mass-production of specialist drainage products, Kijlstra first came to the UK in 2008, with the introduction of its revolutionary square manhole. Since then the company has experienced significant growth and demand for its comprehensive range of innovative precast drainage products and solutions.
The new factory is believed to be the first opening of such a facility in decades, an appropriate home for what are believed to be the most accredited manholes in Europe, with WRc and LABC approval as well as BS EN 5911-3 and BS EN 1917 under their belt.
It will also manufacture drawpits, CSOs and panel systems as well as a host of new products currently under research and development and due for release over the following 12 months.
New moulds and production equipment will play a key role in the refit of the building, bringing the company’s total investment in the move to some £5million.
As well as recruiting locally in Somerset, with plans for up to 45 staff by early 2016, Kijlstra plans to generate income for the local community by using locally-sourced materials and haulage companies.
In addition to the UK factory, Kijlstra is investing in excess of €6million in a new manufacturing facility for a new product range at its existing site at Drachten in The Netherlands as part of the company’s wider investment plans in Europe.
Kijlstra UK commercial director Dai Williams said: “It’s a new-generation factory for a new generation of products. Our long-term strategy has always included the opening of a UK manufacturing plant and reinforces our objective which is to become the UK’s No 1 as we are in The Netherlands. We have experienced extraordinary growth since we set up in the UK six years ago, which has been due as much to our ability to work with consultants and contractors at the earliest design stages as it is to our innovative products.”
Kijlstra UK manager Hugo de Waal added: “This new UK factory is vital to meet the ongoing demand for our drainage systems and solutions which have brought more efficient and cost-effective ways of working to the UK highways and utility sectors, and with predicated growth within these sectors we are in an excellent position to meet this challenge and continue to take this business forward.”