Kronospan factory plan may bring 100 new jobs

More than 100 new jobs could come to the Shropshire border if a factory's long term plans become reality.

Mike McKenna, Kronospan chairman, and Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns
Mike McKenna, Kronospan chairman, and Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns

The Chirk chipboard firm Kronospan says it would like to start making a new product, OSB, which is replacing plywood in the construction industry.

Bosses revealed to the secretary of state for Wales who visited the factory that it would create new jobs.

Alun Cairns, MP, travelled to Chirk for a visit to the Kronospan factory to discuss its investment and renewal plans.

“Since manufacturing began at its Chirk site 45 years ago, Kronospan has played a crucial role in helping to demonstrate why Wales continues to be a prime location to invest and do business," the minister said.

The company, which employs 350 people in Chirk, is planning to invest £200 million over the next three years updating and renewing its existing facilities.

Chairman Mike McKenna said that as part of its investment plan, Kronospan would like to start producing OSB, replacing imports.

"It is increasingly important for building badly needed new homes and would in itself create 100 jobs at the Chirk site," he said.

"We aim to make our Chirk site one of the best factories of its type in the world and we are investing in the best available technologies to secure jobs and reduce our environmental impact.”

The secretary of state said: "The company’s long-standing presence on the North Wales border and the confidence it has instilled in its workforce and supply chain has led to the creation of sustainable, local jobs and stronger communities.

“Manufacturing, innovation and exports are key drivers for economic growth in Wales and across the UK, and I was hugely impressed by Kronospan’s plans for growth and expansion."

Kronospan has been developing its 2020 Vision for the site and is planning to invest £200 million over the next three years updating and renewing its existing facilities. The investment programme is already underway and the site is being modernised and enhanced to secure its future.

The factory has recently been given planning permission to create a building to house the new wood chip preparation equipment, and the Company is now seeking planning approval to upgrade its board storage capability, and replace its chipper and hacker equipment.

These improvements are vital to the future of the business and will be an environmental improvement for the site.

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