H+H held an official opening for its newly refurbished Borough Green factory, which has seen a transformation of the 30-year old plant.
The factory was opened by Tom Tugendhat, MP for Tonbridge and Malling with the Secretary of State for Housing, Local Government and Communities James Brokenshire also visiting the plant during the day to see the new production facility.
When running at capacity, the plant will be able to produce around 20% more volume – reportedly enough to build an additional 5,000 houses per year.
With the plant expected to be manufacturing aircrete blocks for the next 30 years, it has also been designed with some future-proofing. Blocks produced at Borough Green will be manufactured from Pulverised Fuel Ash (PFA) but given the changes in power generation in the UK the plant has been designed so that increased quantities of sand can be used as and when PFA becomes more difficult to obtain.
The multi-million pound refurbishment project has been described as a vote of confidence from the Danish parent company in the UK economy and housebuilding sector – confidence that was recognised by Tom Tugenhadt, who acknowledged the vital contribution of manufacturers, such as H+H, to the task of addressing the housing shortage.
This sentiment was echoed later in the day by James Brokenshire, during a private tour of the new plant, who welcomed H+H’s investment in manufacturing technology to support the drive to build new homes.
In an upbeat assessment of the current housebuilding market, Stewart Baseley, Chairman of the Home Builders Federation, also underlined the confidence of the major housebuilders, pointing to the increasing rate of planning consents and rising number of new house completions as evidence of a vibrant and forward-thinking sector.
H+H UK Managing Director, Calum Forsyth, said: “Collaborative working is often the best solution, but the involvement of outside experts in no way diminishes the exceptional work of our own Borough Green team. The commitment and determination to complete this project was beyond extraordinary.”
Kent Arentoft, Chairman of H+H International, added his own thanks to the Borough Green team, emphasising also the significance of this investment, and the importance of the UK market, to the H+H Group as a whole.
This was expanded further by H+H International CEO, Michael Anderson, who gave more detail on the expansion plans for the Group, referencing recent acquisitions in Poland and Germany and touching on an ongoing programme of investment in the portfolio of factories throughout Europe, including an additional UK project involving H+H UK’s Pollington factory.