Lightweight Container
Rebecca Wayman

Dutch manufacturer takes on 10-year lease in County Durham industrial estate

Dutch-based Lightweight Containers - a manufacturer of lightweight kegs for the drinks industry - has chosen to locate its first UK manufacturing plant in County Durham.

The company has taken a 10-year lease on a 62,000 sq ft unit at Foxcover Industrial Estate in Seaham, and expects to create around 35 jobs within two years.

The company is currently fitting out the unit with the aim of commencing production in July 2018.

Ruud Bais, chief technical officer at Lightweight Containers, has been closely involved with the selection process.

He said: “We have been searching for a suitable site for several months and were particularly impressed by the commitment and desire of Business Durham and Metnor to attract us to the area.

“They were able to satisfy all of our requirements and we look forward to a long-lasting relationship with them as our business develops.”

The company already has production plants in Holland, Germany and the United States and has been searching for a site in the UK to satisfy a growing demand for its products, due in part to an upsurge in the craft brewing sector.

Cllr Carl Marshall, the councils Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “It is great to see another company choosing County Durham as a place to expand and this again reinforces our growing reputation as a desirable location for business.

“This will provide another boost for the local economy both in Seaham and further afield and we look forward to production starting in June.”

The company opted for Seaham after a lengthy collaboration process involving Metnor Group, the owner of the site, HTA who acted as agents for Metnor and the inward investment team at Business Durham, the economic development organisation for County Durham, working on behalf of Durham County Council.

Keith Atkinson, director at Metnor Group, helped negotiate the deal and is delighted with the outcome. He concluded: “Bringing an overseas business to the area has been an exciting challenge for all those involved.

“For our part, we have invested a significant sum of money in upgrading the power supply at our unit, which was a pre-requisite before production could start, and we look forward to seeing the first kegs roll off the production line.”

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