The next phase of a £90m investment at a major Wyre business has been unveiled.
Global plastics manufacturer Victrex is applying for permission to build a new start-of-the-art control centre at its Hillhouse site, in Thornton.
It marks the latest stage of the plant’s redevelopment, announced back in October 2012 by Victrex chairman Anita Frew, which aimed to increase output by more than 50 per cent.
The whole project is expected to create around 20 jobs at the company, which employs around 400 people at its global headquarters in Thornton and has already increased the number of apprentices on the site to 10.
A spokesman for the company, said: “As Victrex invests in new capacity at Thornton to support our future growth, we are also investing to provide facilities which will bring together our new and existing plants – including engineering workshops and an operations control centre.
“This will help us to continue operating safely and efficiently.
“Our £90m investment in our third plant, which is currently under construction and due for completion next year, is progressing well, with over 200 contractors on site, and a small number of permanent jobs expected to be created.
“Victrex also has a strong apprenticeship programme to ensure we are developing our employees of the future.”
Work on the development of a third plant at the site is well underway and it could be operational by next year.
The latest application, submitted to Wyre Council, seeks permission to build a new workshop and control centre that will be able to oversee the running of all three plants, although it will still be possible to operate them separately.
Victrex has said the investment is part of its long-term plan for future growth,
The new facilities will be built on an existing company car park and will replace outdated buildings that will eventually be demolished.
A planning statement submitted in support of the application adds: “Over the last several years Victrex has been carrying out development works on site to ensure that its facilities and staff amenities meet its growing needs, and are market leading.
“In June of 2012 the new Victrex Technical Centre was completed, providing a new state-of-the-art headquarters comprising laboratories and office facilities. This enabled Victrex to move many of its staff and procedures from the existing manufacturing centre to this new building.
“The next stage in the development is to provide new workshops, staff changing and toilet facilities, and a new state-of-the-art control centre.”