Firms to expand on former oil plant site
LAND formerly occupied by a Hull oil refiner is proving a rich foundation for the growth of nearby Hull firms.
The two-acre site in Wincolmlee was formerly home to Karlshamn's oil processing plant.
Following a merger with Aarhaus United in 2005, which saw the creation of AarhusKarlshamn (AAK), the company has relocated all of its Hull operations to King George Dock.
Now, following a full scheme of demolition, the site has created an opportunity for a number of nearby firms to spread their wings.
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Fellow edible oil company Multifry is one of the companies to capitalise on the opportunity for growth, taking about 0.6 acres of the site in a move that will more than double its existing premises.
The family-owned business was founded in Hull in 1973 and supplies edible oils for catering and industrial uses, as well as providing packaging services.
Director Paul Sims said: "We were getting to the point where we needed to expand, however there wasn't really anywhere suitable we could go to.
"We currently have just short of 16,000sq ft of space and if we were going to expand it would need to be near to our current premises."
Multifry is now looking to create an office and warehouse facility on its newly acquired land, and Mr Sims said the idea was to create the perfect conditions for continued growth.
"We are looking to invest around £150,000 to £200,000 on the site and have been working with an architect to draw up the plans.
"We have grown steadily, however the reason for buying this land is more for future growth than immediate growth.
"Hopefully, when the recession is behind us we can start to create more jobs."
KwikTuf, also based in Wincolmlee, is another company that has grasped the opportunity to grow.
It has taken a 23,000sq ft warehouse, which was also previously occupied by Karlshamn.
The company was formed in Hull in 2005 to supply glass and associated products to the Hull business and trade community.
Since then, Kwiktuf has expanded its portfolio and now provides a comprehensive range of glass products and services, including staircases, balustrade systems and kitchen and bathroom splashbacks.
Following steady growth which saw its workforce grow from 23 to almost 50, the company began renting additional premises in nearby Main Street, however further rapid growth promoted Kwiktuf to again look for additional space.
Kwiktuf's Michelle Saville said: "We have grown significantly over the past few years and were quickly running out of space at Fountain Road.
"Renting the offices on Main Street enabled us to see whether we could accommodate two premises, however we've recently grown more quickly than even we anticipated.
"We had been looking for new premises for about a year but we needed somewhere local to our existing site, and this is ideal."
As well as the new warehouse, the firm will be retaining its existing site in Fountain Road.
The extra space will house Kwiktuf's toughened glass processes and double glazing line, some of which is manufactured for its sister company, KwikFrames, as well as other double glazing companies.
"We are obviously hoping the move will create more jobs, but I think more important is the fact it will enable us to retain existing jobs," said Michelle.
"We are now up to around 58 staff and we have a very loyal workforce who have been great. During our busy periods we were up to around 70 staff including agency workers, and I think part of our success is down to the fact we have such a great, dedicated team."
Matthew Tomlinson, of Scotts Property LLP, who handled the transactions said there had been a good level of interest in the site.