NorthernPaperBoardNorthern Paper Board in Skipton has unveiled plans for a £1.3 million expansion and investment project.

Work is scheduled to begin this month, with a summer completion date.

The company, a member of SREG, has been granted planning approval for a new 22,000 sq ft three-bay stock warehouse, which will virtually double the size of the company’s existing premises.

Approval was granted on the back of the £9.7m Skipton flood defence scheme to protect hundreds of homes and businesses in the town, including Northern Paper Board’s six-acre site in Engine Shed Lane.

The company remains the UK’s second largest manufacturer and supplier of solid board boxes for the food processing industry.

While primarily providing urgently needed additional space to store finished goods, the new extension will also house a Bobst Domino high-speed folder gluer, further boosting manufacturing capabilities and capacity, primarily for bespoke printed boxes. This in itself represents an investment of £600,000.

Managing director John Curran said: “We completed our existing building in 2010 and are now literally bursting at the seams. The flood defence scheme has enabled us to expand.

“The project will create new jobs and allow the business to grow significantly. We have already shown solid year-on-year growth, from £5.4 million to £10.5 million annual turnover over the past five years. We can now confidently expect to achieve a further 20% per cent per year growth.

“We currently have the capacity to produce 18 million boxes per year. With our existing staff alone, we have the potential to to increase manufacturing capacity by up to 40%, or 25 to 30 million boxes per year when the new building is fully operational. We plan to introduce two shifts and want to see our turnover grow to up to £35 million over the next seven years.”

Established in 1979, Northern Paper Board has invested £4 million in the business in the past decade. It has a 24-strong workforce and primarily serves the meat and poultry markets, with a growing presence across both the fish and horticultural sectors.

Sales director Paul Curran said: “The new building also gives us far greater flexibility. We have a fast-expanding customer base and will be able to service it more effectively, as well as move into new and emerging markets, particularly niche sectors.

“We do business with some major players, though we will still look after smaller customers, providing a single pallet of printed boxes if needs be.

“In addition, we are now producing corrugated boxes, which we have not done in the past and this will open new opportunities for us. We also currently outsource some of our products and these will be brought in-house.”

The new extension is being built by a local company, Sutcliffe Construction in Hellifield, who have previously done work for Northern Paper Board as part of its continuing expansion and investment programme.

Julian Smith, Member of Parliament for Skipton and Ripon is also Honorary President of SREG. He visited the company to hear about its latest expansion plans and make the ceremonial first cut ahead of the new development.

He said: “Northern Paper Board is a growing Skipton business and I was delighted to be able to join them to start a new phase of expansion. The growth, which has been directly helped by the recent go-ahead of the Skipton flood alleviation scheme, will provide more jobs and a boost for Craven’s economy.

“The development will also provide more work during the construction phase for local firms involved in the building project. I look forward to seeing the business continue to grow in the future.”

Northern Paper Board holds top-rated ‘A’ grade certification for packaging and packaging materials through the British Retail Consortium’s Global Standards programme, along with ISO 9001:2008 certification.

The company was chosen as regional SME Manufacturer of the Year in the 2012 Yorkshire Post Business Awards, and has twice been a UK Packaging Awards finalist.

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