Kitchen maker looks to create over 300 manufacturing jobs in Scunthorpe
MORE than 300 manufacturing jobs could be created in Scunthorpe if a multi-million pound investment by one of Britain's biggest kitchen furniture retailers goes ahead.
East Yorkshire-based firm Wren Kitchens is seeking planning approval to change back the use of the former B&Q warehouse on the town's Foxhills Industrial Estate.
The proposed door- assembly plant, covering 46,482 square metres, would operate around the clock and employ 320 staff.
Mark Pullan, the finance director for the eBuyer Group that owns Wren Kitchens, said: "We have an assembly plant at Howden and the idea would be to feed the site with doors from Scunthorpe.
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"Subject to planning approval, we hope to start job recruitment next month, with a view to starting production in May."
Mr Pullan, 38, added: "We are a local firm so we wanted to keep our operations in the Humber region and Scunthorpe is an excellent choice, both from the point of view of logistics and an available skilled workforce. The factory will supply our 15 showrooms in the UK – but we have plans to open a further 30 branches in 2011 including one in Scunthorpe, which would create a further 10 jobs."
The newly appointed operations director for the Scunthorpe plant, Armando Sanchez, 44, said it was also the intention to develop a training facility for retail staff in the town.
Planners have been told the Foxhills site where the new Wren plant would go was originally developed in 1987 as a factory for manufacturing household furniture.
But in 2000 the operators at Spring Ram Kitchens closed the business and the building was taken over by retailer B&Q.
Early support for the development came from Scunthorpe MP Nic Dakin who said: "This is fantastic news. It is extremely encouraging that large businesses are choosing North Lincolnshire, making a significant investment in local people and the local economy."
Council leader Councillor Mark Kirk said: "This is excellent news and a real boost for the local economy."
The announcement comes after the latest figures revealed unemployment was up in the region – and is now at its highest since June last year.
And it follows news there has been a stampede to apply for a job at the Primark store in Scunthorpe, which will create 135 jobs when it opens.
No date has been fixed for the planning hearing.