Brickmaker pledges £50m investment in new Yorkshire factory

Clay brick manufacturer Ibstock is to make a £50m investment in Yorkshire to create the UK’s first automated brick slips factory.

The East Midlands-based firm will build the factory on the site of its old clay brick factory in Nostell, West Yorkshire, which closed in 2020 following a group restructure.

Brick slips are tiles which have the appearance, colour and texture of a real clay brick wall. They are designed to provide a durable, safe and energy efficient alternative to other cladding solutions.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, Joe Hudson, chief executive of Ibstock, said: “We had a very old factory which was closed during covid but we think that this is a great location for the UK’s first brick slip systems factory.

Ibstock is to make a £50m investment in Yorkshire to create the UK’s first automated brick slips factory.

“It’s close to a lot of the off-site housing companies like Ilke Homes and a lot of others around the area. We’ve got great access to good technical skills, motorway networks and infrastructure.”

Read More

Read More
Factory-built council homes among the greenest in the UK

Mr Hudson said that once the factory was completed, over two phases, it would employ 50-60 people compared to 40-50 people in the old factory.

“We always had a plan to do something with our Nostell site. We re-deployed some of our people from the factory until we could do this and we will take on more people,” he added.

The investment marks a new direction for the company. The UK market for brick slips is significant, with annual volumes of circa 120 million slips, and is growing fast.

Ibstock’s planned £50m capital investment will provide capacity for up to 60 million brick slips per annum, Mr Hudson said.

An initial investment of around £38m, providing capacity to produce 30 million brick slips, will be spread evenly across 2022 and 2023, with the factory commissioning in late 2023.

The second phase of investment is expected to be made shortly afterwards as additional capacity is required.

EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation) from the initial investment is expected to be at least £10m per annum once the plant is operating at expected capacity levels from 2025.

Mr Hudson said traditional bricklaying remained a large market for the business but the addition of a significant brick slip capability would complement the group’s existing operations and increase its presence in the fast growing mid and high-rise construction sectors.

“Post Grenfell, there’s a desire to have a lot more masonry, non-combustible products,” he said. “Our business already makes a product called Mechslip - a mechanical fixing system using slips - and we can’t keep up so the recladding market is a really important part of the market.”

The new factory plans to incorporate the latest manufacturing technology to deliver a significant reduction in carbon compared to both imported and domestically cut slips.

In combination with offset projects, this will result in Nostell producing the UK’s first net-zero carbon brick slip, he added.

“We see a lot of changing trends in our industry around off-site manufacturing and the need to have more sustainable construction,” said Mr Hudson.

“This is a big investment into the future of the Ibstock business. It’s a new market we’re going to be playing in that we’re not in at the moment.”

The planning application process has commenced, and construction on site is expected to start during the first quarter of 2022.

Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today.

Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you'll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app and receive exclusive members-only offers.

So, please - if you can - pay for our work. Just £5 per month is the starting point. If you think that which we are trying to achieve is worth more, you can pay us what you think we are worth. By doing so, you will be investing in something that is becoming increasingly rare. Independent journalism that cares less about right and left and more about right and wrong. Journalism you can trust.

Thank you

James Mitchinson