£20m Foxhills furniture factory to open doors
PRODUCTION trials will soon start at a new £20 million furniture assembly factory which could eventually employ more than 300 people.
The number of full-time employees ahead of commissioning at the Wren Kitchens on Scunthorpe's Foxhills Industrial Estate has now risen to 38.
Ten more jobs will be created on the site next month when the Howden-based firm opens its 26th retail outlet in the UK.
At the same time, four employees from the Howden site will be transferred to Scunthorpe to staff a new training centre for the retail workers.
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Factory manager Stuart Smith said: "Everything is going to plan and we have all the processes in place at Foxhills.
"We will start the trials as soon as various licences have been approved.
"Initially, we will be producing 20,000 doors a week during one shift from 7.30am to 3.30pm, five days a week.
"But we hope that figure will rise to 200,000 a week by the end of next year when we intend to operate three shifts a day."
Wren's finance director Mark Pullan said: "The facility is probably 90 per cent complete from a construction point of view and the new lines are about 80 per cent installed.
"We have a couple of regulatory matters to resolve, around the storage of some of the raw materials, then we can commence the actual testing of the lines and start our trial production.
"As with all production lines, a fair amount of fine tuning is required to ensure the doors we produce are absolutely top quality.
"Once we are happy with the production quality we will begin manufacture.
"Production will gradually increase as we phase out doors brought in from third parties.
"We are now in the process of fitting out all our showrooms with our new bedroom furniture range. All the doors for the range will be manufactured in Scunthorpe."
The £20 million investment on the Foxhills site entails installing 14 production lines.
Manufacturing will be spread across 46,000sqm and pay rates will start at a basic £6.50 an hour.
The factory was last used as a warehouse by DIY chain B&Q.
It was originally built by Spring Ram Kitchens to make furniture, but the business ceased trading in 2000.