Lightweight Containers is a Dutch based manufacturer of lightweight kegs for the drinks industry, which has decided to locate its first UK manufacturing plant in County Durham. The company has taken a 10 year lease on a 62,000 sq ft unit at Foxcover Industrial Estate in Seaham and it expects to create around 350 jobs within two years. At the moment, the company is fitting out the unit, aiming to commence production in July this year.
“We have been searching for a suitable site for several months and were particularly impressed by the commitment and desire of Business Durham and Metnor to attract us to the area,” said Ruud Bais, chief technical officer at Lightweight Containers, who has also been closely involved with the selection process. “They were able to satisfy all of our requirements and we look forward to a long-lasting relationship with them as our business develops.”
The manufacturer already has production plants in Holland, Germany and the United States; however, due to an upsurge in the craft brewing sector in the UK, it started to search for a site in the UK to satisfy the growing demand.
“It is great to see another company choosing County Durham as a place to expand and this again reinforces our growing reputation as a desirable location for business,” said Councillor Carl Marshall, the council’s Cabinet member for economic regeneration. “This will provide another boost for the local economy both in Seaham and further afield and we look forward to production starting in June.”
After a lengthy collaboration process that involved Metnor Group, the owner of the site at Seaham, and the inward investment team at Business Durham, the company decided to choose the site.
“Bringing an overseas business to the area has been an exciting challenge for all those involved,” said Keith Atkinson, director at Metnor Group. “For our part, we have invested a significant sum of money in upgrading the power supply at our unit, which was a pre-requisite before production could start, and we look forward to seeing the first kegs roll off the production line.”