Launch of £6.1m recyclable food packaging facility set to create 50 jobs
- Credit: Archant
A recyclable glass and plastics food packaging firm is set to open a major new warehouse and manufacturing plant at Eye in north Suffolk, creating 50 jobs.
Aegg, a growing multinational company, says it is expanding due to a big increase in demand for glass, and plans to open its first major warehouse facilities in Suffolk later this year.
The facilities will house its four glass ranges including glass jars and bottles for food, glass bottles for soft drinks, juices and soups, glass bottles for water, and a table-presentable range of pressed table glass. The company also makes bespoke glass items.
Its first major warehouse measures 60,000sq ft, but could to be expanded to 100,000sq ft, which will sit alongside a facility for the manufacture of rigid, recyclable plastic food packaging as part of phase 2.
Aegg is investing £3.1m in improving and equipping the production and warehousing operations, with the business expansion supported by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) through the Growing Business Fund, and separately by Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.
A related property company has invested a further £3m to purchase Aegg land and buildings, bringing the total investment to £6.1m.
Aegg has invested additionally in its own distribution fleet of 27 vehicles, giving it greater control over the supply chain, and its ability to deliver to customers on time.
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Managing director Jamie Gorman said: "Our new UK manufacturing facility and transport fleet will enable our customers to take advantage of our expanded turnkey operations, from conceptual design, production, warehousing, right through to logistics and delivery to our customers' production lines.
"Being based in the UK, customers can also take advantage of protection from Brexit driven exchange rate changes as well as excellent transport links, with our export customers also benefitting from its close proximity to Felixstowe port, Britain's biggest and busiest container port."
The new combined unit had come about after a huge upsurge in demand for glass food and drink packaging over the past couple of years, he said.
"Aegg has seen a major shift from customers towards glass packaging, in line with global demand, due to glass being fully recyclable and deemed by some customers to be greener than plastic packaging, although our recyclable PET and PP plastic ranges are still proving popular.
"Although there is a shortage of glass packaging available in the UK marketplace at the moment, Aegg has worked hard with its suppliers to secure new volumes for its UK and global customers."
The business was working with suppliers to create bespoke glass packaging items for its customers, including jars for jams and sauces and bottles for soft drinks and juices as well as pots for desserts, starters and dips.
"We showcased our initial table-presentable and glass packaging ranges at Packaging Innovations earlier in 2019, which resulted in a huge interest in the products, with new opportunities arising from some of the bigger players in food and drinks markets," he said.
"Although we have a successful history with plastic food packaging, we are envisioning our glass offering will grow to become 50% of our business this coming year. Our glass ranges in 'standards' comprise over 40 items as we speak, and this is growing all the time."
The ability to create bespoke items as well meant the firm was "ideally set up" for further growth, he said.
Chris Starkie, chief executive at New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: "We're pleased to enable Aegg to expand from its home base in Hampshire into our region, building a new warehouse, equipping a new manufacturing facility and creating 50 jobs. It's a growing business with a global reach that will be a great asset to the business community in Eye in Suffolk.
"It's also good news for our thriving food and drink companies to have innovative recyclable plastics and glass packaging in the vicinity which could reduce transport and logistics costs."
Will Gage of Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking said the investment put the company in a strong position as demand for sustainable packaging for the food and drink market continues to rise.
Aegg makes packaging at sites across Europe, including at a related plant in Bulgaria, but will be able to expand its offer through in-house production at its new UK manufacturing and warehouse site.