Forterra’s £95m redevelopment plans for Desford site approved

Plans from Forterra, the producer of manufactured masonry products, for the redevelopment of its Desford site have been approved by Leicestershire County Council.

The site currently has a production capacity of 85m bricks, but the planned expansion will allow a new factory that is capable of producing 180m bricks per annum.

Costs for the project are expected to be between £90m and £95m, and the current factory is to remain operational until the development is complete.

The plans will result in the equivalent of 121 jobs per year over the 20-month construction period. At present, the brickworks support the employment of 102 people directly.

It is anticipated that the new plant will be commissioned in 2021 and £1.5m has already been invested into preparation costs for the project.

When the plans were first revealed in May 2018, Stephen Harrison, Chief Executive Officer at Forterra, said: “The high level of capacity utilisation in the UK brick industry, together with the attractive long term fundamentals on housebuilding supported by government policies, provides a sound basis for this major investment.

“We have chosen redevelopment of the Desford site as the favoured option of those considered as it enables us to replace the existing plant with a larger modern facility, providing both additional capacity and the benefit of a lower production cost. This will give us the flexibility to continue to serve our customers and meet their requirements as the market grows.  

“The project is a key part of our strategy to grow our core business and pursue manufacturing excellence, driven by our strong customer relationships as well as our people.”

Forterra’s plans are for a new brickworks and an extension to quarry workings.