WORK has started on a new multi-million pound distribution building at an East Lancashire plastics manufacturing site.

Altham-based What More UK said the new warehouse will provide 26,000 sq ft of extra distribution space and operate as a link between two of their existing distribution buildings – five, which has 110,000 sq ft of space and six, which has 95,000 sq ft of space.

The company, which is behind the home storage brand Wham, currently runs manufacturing, distribution and office space extending over 500,000 sq ft across its two sites, Altham and Shuttleworth Mead.

The latest multi-million investment announcement comes on the back of record turnover in 2019, and positive business results since January of this year.

Company bosses say those positive results have continued through the coronavirus crisis and culminated in last month being the best May in its 21-year history.

Director Tony Grimshaw OBE said: "The manufacturing sector in Lancashire, and the whole of the UK, is ready, willing and able to supply the country's retailers in June when they are finally allowed to re-open. Britain is ready to get back to business and we are proud to be setting the example.

"This project, and others like it, are great for the morale of our 300 colleagues. Whichever way you look at it, manufacturing is still vital to the UK economy and it shows that the UK is a country that makes things and gets the job done."

Hyndburn Borough Council leader Cllr Miles Parkinson welcomed the start of the work and said it was important for businesses to invest where they can if the economy is going to recover from the impact of Covid-19.

Cllr Parkinson said: "It's encouraging that a business is not just weathering the storm of what's occurring but also providing significant investment as well."

In January What More invested in the state-of-the-art bakeware machines and has since reported a reported high demand for all of its products, which it exports to 73 countries around the world, including housewares of all varieties, bakeware, and gardenware.

In April the company announced it will now produce parts for visors, with managing director and Accrington Stanley chairman Andy Holt saying the firm will continue to produce public personal protective equipment (PPE) “until the country has enough”.

During the same month firm appointed Lee Morris as its new works manager and gave him the remit of taking a broader view of all of its processes and setting up a new environmental strategy which will help guarantee a more sustainable future for the firm and its stakeholders.