The world-class high-tech manufacturing facility will become the heart of AkzoNobel’s UK Decorative Paints operations, and will treble the North-East manufacturing capability of the UK’s decorative paints business.
The move to Ashington 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 north-east. It follows a series of significant investments in the company’s fire protection facility, and research facilities at its Felling, Tyne and Wear site.
The famous Dulux Dog attended the groundbreaking ceremony to represent one of AkzoNobel’s most iconic brands, which also include Polycell, Cuprinol and Hammerite.
The new site, due to commence operations in late 2014, will halve AkzoNobel’s environmental impact in the North-East, reducing energy consumption per liter of paint produced by 60 percent compared to today’s operations. This will be achieved 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. Examples of technology to be used include: A biomass boiler providing a renewable source of heat; solar panels on the roof providing a renewable source of electricity; and rainwater harvesting into the process water.
At the end of 2014, AkzoNobel plans to close its current site in nearby Prudhoe and its manufacturing operations in Slough. Slough will remain the headquarters for the UK Decorative Paints business for marketing and global research and development.