Forterra welcomed Member of Parliament for Hinckley and Bosworth, Dr Luke Evans, to its new development on Friday 9 October. The Desford expansion is set to be the largest and most efficient brick facility in Europe when it commences production in 2022. The visit not only gave a preview of the £95m project, but also marked Forterra’s fifth anniversary of trading.
During the visit, Dr Evans and his team were given a tour of the factory under construction before discussing the progress and logistics of the project with Forterra executives Ben Guyatt, Chief Financial Officer, and Operations Director George Stewart, as well as Gino Pastorino, the Project Director for the new Desford brick factory.
The new development is being built alongside the current factory in order to ensure that the latter remains operational throughout construction and to maintain production during the changeover. The expansion is expected to commence production in 2022, at which point the projected capacity is 180 million bricks per annum – enough to build 24,000 family homes.
The modernised Desford site will offer a range of red and buff bricks designed to meet the demands of house builders.
In light of the Prime Minister’s pledge to dedicate £5billion to building new homes and ‘radically change’ the planning system, house builders are set to be busier than ever post-pandemic. In fact, the NHBC (National House Building Council) reported a record 161,022 houses were built in 2019, and the Government has plans to increase this exponentially over the next five years. The scale and efficiency of the new Desford expansion will place Forterra at the heart of the supplying process for many of these builders.
Luke Evans is a British Conservative Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Hinckley and Bosworth in Leicestershire since 2019. He is also a GP, and has served as a member of the Health and Social Care Select Committee since March 2020.
Dr Evans said: “Desford brick factory has been an important part of our community and economy for many years, Forterra are building on that legacy with their plans for growth and jobs which can only benefit our area in the years and generations to come.
“It was wonderful to see the developments that are taking place at Forterra in Desford, and the process for making bricks. It’s easy to forget just how important companies like Forterra are to our lives, but without them we literally would not have the homes that families need.”
“We were delighted to welcome Dr Evans to our new facility,” added Ben Guyatt. “We’re incredibly proud of the investment we’ve been able to make at Desford – it’s truly a testament to the success and hard work made by all our colleagues in the past five years that we’re now able to reinvest for the future of our business with this state of the art factory.
“Not only that, but it’s great to see MPs take a genuine interest in their constituency and the work that goes on within it. This visit is the latest milestone in a great working relationship with our local Member of Parliament.”