The AkzoNobel factory—to be based in Ashington, Northumberland—was granted planning permission yesterday by Northumberland County Council. It will be one of the biggest manufacturing investments in the region in recent years.
AkzoNobel is the largest global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals, and manufacturer of brands including Dulux, Polycell and Cuprinol. Its UK operations encompass 18 sites and over 216 locations, with a total of 4,100 employees.
Due to begin building later this year and commence operations in late 2014, the Ashington facility will treble AkzoNobel’s current northeast manufacturing capacity and become the new home to the company’s UK decorative paints operations.
The factory will reduce energy consumption per liter of paint produced by 60 percent compared to today’s operations by employing cutting edge manufacturing technology and the latest in building design while also making large sustainability improvements by recycling and reusing waste and water said the company.
At the end of 2014, AkzoNobel plans to close its current site in nearby Prudhoe and its manufacturing operations in Slough, which will remain the headquarters for the UK decorative paints business for marketing and global research and development.
The move reinforces AkzoNobel’s commitment to ensuring that some of its most recognizable brands continue to be manufactured in the UK, with a particular focus on the northeast. The announcement followed a series of significant investments in the company’s fire protection facility, and research facilities at its Felling, Tyne and Wear site.
“This massive £100m investment by AkzoNobel in Ashington is to be warmly welcomed. The new hi-tech manufacturing plant will bring much-needed jobs to the town providing job opportunities for local people," said Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery. “Unemployment rates are high and we need every single job we can get in Ashington. I hope AkzoNobel’s decision to locate here will encourage other companies to follow suit. I look forward to them being a significant employer in the town for many years to come.”
“Receiving planning permission is another step along our timeline towards 2014, allowing us to start building on this new world-class facility," said AkzoNobel’s UK country director, Guy Williams. "This investment highlights the importance of the northeast to AkzoNobel’s operations, placing the region at the heart of our UK manufacturing business for the long-term.”