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300 new jobs on the cards for Blackburn
10:42am Tuesday 5th June 2012 in Business
EXPANSION plans by three companies are set to create 300 new jobs in Blackburn over the next 12 months.
Paper tissue manufacturer Accrol plans to almost double its workforce in the town taking on 100 new employees.
Multi-national RPC Containers Ltd is spending more than £4million on an extension to its Haslingden Road factory adding another 30 members of staff to its 300 employees.
And David Wilson Homes North West is to finally start work on 116 new houses and flats on the Old Blackburn Royal Infirmary site later this year, employing up 175 people on the £10.6 million project.
The announcements have been heralded by MP Jack Straw, who said the new jobs were brilliant news for the town.
Accrol, which currently has four sites in Roman Road and Davyfield Road Blackburn, is planning to put up a 120,000 sq ft purpose-built manufacturing unit with two-storey offices to boost its capacity to making one million toilet rolls and 500,000 kitchen rolls a day.
Commercial director Tim Bullough said permission for the expansion had already been given go-ahead in principle by Blackburn-with-Darwen Council.
He said the £80million turnover a year company was now in the process of acquiring the site and gaining detailed planning permission with the aim of being up and running by next year, Mr Bullough, who said 100 workers would be added to the 200 existing members of staff, added: “This is a continuing process of investment in our products and in Blackburn. We are very happy with our workforce and keen to expand our operations in the town.”
RPC Containers, which makes plastic containers for soup and sauces and plastic paint cans for Crown in Darwen, has been given full planning permission for a new manufacturing, warehousing and distribution centre at its factory in Haslingden Road.
The company, which has several sites employing 6,000 across the UK and Europe and a turnover approaching £1 billion annually, believes the expansion will create another 30 jobs.
Blackburn general manager Andy Bloor said: “We hope to have everything up and running by the end of September or beginning of October.
“It will create 30 jobs and we have all already started recruiting.
“That should be it for the coming year but we hope to continue expanding. The company is very happy with its workforce in Blackburn and the transport links to the town.”
David Wilson Homes North West has got the green light to build 116 houses and associated works on the old Infirmary site after a three year hold-up on redevelopment of the site, originally earmarked for 253 properties.
The latest move to get work underway is a major step forward following the property market slump.
While the company is working on final details of the scheme and the numbers need to work on it, the UK Home Builders Federation’s standard multiplier of 1.5 jobs created per new home suggest that at least 174 workers will be employed by Wilson’s directly or indirectly.
Andrew Taylor, planning director for David Wilson Homes North West, said: “The construction of 116 David Wilson Homes on the former Blackburn Royal Infirmary site is going to have a very positive effect on the immediate and surrounding area, both through renovating a derelict site and by creating a wide range of jobs for local people.
“We are very much looking forward to starting work on site later this year.”
Mr Straw said: “These three announcements coming together show that Blackburn is open for business.”