Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable MP has visited the North East to officially open Ward Recycling’s state of the art facility, which includes a £450,000 glass clean-up extension.
Over the past 18 months the Middlesbrough-based company, which employs 146 people, has seen its overall turnover grow to more than £8 million due to a rapid increase in demand from foreign markets.
The extension is expected to create up to 56 jobs while safeguarding 28, and forms part of a wider £3.2 million investment in its facility that has been supported by a £500,000 grant from Let’s Grow – a £30 million Regional Growth Fund programme operated in partnership with Trinity Mirror Group, BE Group and UNW LLP.
Mr Cable unveiled an official opening plaque to mark the completion of the 5,000 sq ft extension and joined Ward Recycling’s Manager Gareth Godwin for a tour of the site, which processes around 1,300 tonnes of recycling each week.
Key to its recent export success has been the guidance of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and its facilitation of overseas deals. By collaborating with the organisation Ward Recycling has been able to gain access to markets looking for a cost effective and cleaner material to replace the silica sand used in swimming pool filtration systems.
Ward Recycling has also worked closely with Teesside University to achieve European recognised DWI and PAS quality accreditations as well as gaining £59,000 in R&D tax credits, which has been reinvested to demonstrate its commitment to producing quality and environmentally friendly products.
Established in 2002, Ward Recycling operates nationwide Bring Bank collection services, dry recycling sorting and kerbside collections. It first opened its Glass Beneficiation plant in 2012, which produces a material that is free from sharps and is commonly used to filter water for human consumption.
Mr Cable said: “A strong manufacturing sector is at the heart of a sustainable economy, driving growth and enabling British businesses to have the confidence to invest and innovate.
“Today I was pleased to see Ward Recycling’s impressive expansion plans. Their state-of-the-art facility will enable them to exploit overseas markets and increase their workforce.”
Gareth added: “The Business Secretary’s visit has been a great way to mark the latest stage of our ambitious expansion. This investment represents the progress we’ve made as a company and has gone a long way to establishing the area as a hub for the green energy industry.
“The help provided by UKTI, Teesside University and the Let’s Grow fund demonstrates the strong support infrastructure in place in the North East of England and the excellent opportunities it has on offer.”
Tony Leech, Area Corporate Director North East, from HSBC, said: “HSBC is proud to support ambitious businesses such as Ward Recycling connect with new opportunities both at home and overseas.
“I am delighted we have strengthened our relationship with them by providing a £2 million asset finance facility to help fund their site extension.”