Ibstock to build new brick factory in Walsall as part of £60m investment
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Ibstock, the UK’s largest brickmaker with 21 brickworks across the country, has revived plans to build a new factory in the West Midlands to meet unprecedented demand from industry.
In a trading update, the firm said it was starting work again on its new Atlas factory in Walsall which was mothballed last year because of the pandemic.
Expansion plans for were first unveiled in early 2020 but put on hold. Improved trading conditions have seen the plan revived and upgraded.
Ibstock said: “UK housing market fundamentals remain strongly positive, with a structural undersupply of new build housing which is expected to continue over the medium term. As the residential housing market recovers, domestic demand for clay bricks will continue to exceed that available from domestic manufacturing capacity.”
The existing Atlas site will be replaced with a wire cut clay brick factory and the adjacent Aldridge brick factory upgraded. The redeveloped facilities will deliver annual capacity of 115 million bricks – a net increase in current capacity of 75 million bricks.
The new Atlas factory and the upgraded Aldridge factory will be completed in the second half of 2023 delivering an anticipated annual £12m boost to profits.
Joe Hudson, Chief Executive Officer of Ibstock said:” We’ve made an encouraging start to 2021, supported by robust demand in both the new build housing and RMI markets.”
“With the market outlook now clearer, we are refocusing on growth. Redevelopment of our wire cut brick facilities in the West Midlands will deliver a significant capacity expansion, further demonstrating our leadership in the clay brick market, which is expected to continue its long-term growth over time.
“The project is another tangible example of our commitment to the net zero carbon journey and provides a great exemplar of British building products manufacturing. We have a number of additional organic investment opportunities under evaluation and expect to update shareholders on these as the year progresses.”