Wednesday, 25 November 2015

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New bank-note plant poised to be given go-ahead

Councillors are poised to give the green light to plans for a new £20 million factory which will make the base material for the Bank of England’s first polymer bank notes.

David Beeby photo
David Beeby, Innovia Group chief executive

Eighty highly-skilled, full-time jobs will be created if Allerdale Council’s development control panel agrees to back the proposals to create the plant in Wigton.

Planning officers are recommending councillors grant planning permission to the latest development at Innovia Films, subject to conditions.

Following concerns about flood risk, measures tabled by Innovia to ensure that the development does not increase the danger to the town have been accepted in principle by the Environment Agency.

Jaime Pacreu, director of technical services for Innovia Security, said: “We will be delighted if the planning application is approved on July 1, and look forward to working with the Allerdale Council and residents of the region to bring this project to life.”

The factory would, if plans are backed, be built beside the existing polymer film production site at Innovia Films. It will enable the company to link into its existing production line and use existing knowledge and technical skills of employees.

The two-story building is set to be up to 12 metres high, around 65 metres wide and a maximum length of 110 metres.

A new gatehouse forms part of the plans as does a four-metre high perimeter wall which will be built from concrete panels and steel fencing. A report to councillors states that the surrounding perimeter wall will need to “be robust and able to withstand the possibility of attack”, due to security requirements.

A new road will have to be constructed on the vast Innovia site, and the proposals also include 44 new parking spaces and two disabled bays. The new plant is half of a £40m investment at the Wigton site by the Innovia Group. It will be similar to the company’s existing polymer substrate plants in Mexico and Australia.

Around 900 people are currently employed at Wigton, manufacturing polypropylene and cellulose film primarily for labelling and packaging.

Work on the new factory should start towards the end of the summer, as long as planning consent is granted. Councillors meet in Workington on July 1 to discuss Innovia’s plant proposals.


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