Around 250 jobs have been created in Northampton by Medicom, a manufacturer of personal protective equipment (PPE).
The Canadian-based group has opened its first production facility in the UK. The plant in Northamptonshire is already manufacturing more than 1.5 million face masks a day under its Kolmi brand, to help the NHS combat Covid.
It follows Medicom’s agreement with the UK government to provide more than 600 million clinical masks for the NHS. The factory features a clean room more than 60 metres long, where two types of mask are made in carefully controlled conditions.
The facility represents an investment of many millions of pounds by a global business, just a few months after Brexit. Medicom owns and operates 10 manufacturing sites around the world, with a global workforce of 2,000.
A key factor in the NHS deal has been helping to safeguard the UK’s PPE supplies, at a time of unprecedented demand. Alongside Medicom’s Northampton investment, the Berry Global Group has built a production facility in south Wales, to provide the essential material for mask filters.
The Managing Director of Medicom in the UK, Hugues Bourgeois, believes the new manufacturing and warehouse facility is a significant step forward in the UK’s fight against Covid: “Not all face masks are of the same quality. Our new UK facility is probably one of the best in Europe.
“It’s a big commitment by our business. We’ve made it because we believe in the NHS and this country’s desire to strengthen PPE production in the UK – ensuring an adequate and secure supply of high-quality protection for essential workers to carry out their vital work safely and comfortably.”
The Northampton site was chosen because of its proximity to the NHS supply depot in Daventry. It also reduces the need for imports with a high carbon footprint, and there are other major environmental benefits through recycling procedures.
The Medicom facility is manufacturing both medical and FFP3 respiratory masks. The latter filter up to 99% of airborne particles and are the type favoured by many healthcare organisations.