A BLACKBURN envelope manufacturer is investing £4million in three new machines as it moves into making ‘green’ paper bags for speciality breads.

Heritage Envelopes is also to recruit 20 new staff, from apprentices to skilled engineers, as it boosts its traditional production for the postal market and moves into a new venture as shops and supermarkets move away from plastic bags.

Boss Mark Sears said: “This is very exciting.”

Cllr Phil Riley, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s regeneration boss, said: “Brilliant.” 

Heritage, based at Davyfield Road has invested £2m on the hi-tech new envelope manufacturing machine - the first in Europe and the third in the world.

On Friday it takes delivery of the first of two £1m apiece paper bread bag machines for its new venture with a second due to arrive in October.

Mr Sears, a 61-year-old Darwen grandfather, said: “This is very exciting for us.
“The firm makes more than two billion envelopes a year and despite a decline in the market because of email and coronavirus our share has held up well.

“The move into manilla, light-brown paper bags for baguettes and other speciality breads is a totally new venture for us.

“It comes as supermarkets and shops are stopping using plastic bags and going to greener, eco-friendly paper alternatives.

“We have a £350,000 solar panel on our roof which is both environmentally-friendly and cuts our fuel bills.

“The new envelope manufacturing machine is the first of its kind in Europe and the third in the world after two in the United States of America.

Lancashire Telegraph:

The new envelope machine

"We are now looking to recruit more than 20 new staff, from six apprentices through to skilled engineers and electrical engineers, for our 135-strong workforce.

“At one point we had to furlough 60 staff but they are now nearly all back on a strictly socially-distanced and sanitised site.

“This investment by our parent company Mayer Group shows there is still some good news and good job opportunities around in these difficult times.

Cllr Riley said: “Brilliant. This is excellent news that this company is still investing and creating jobs especially roles for apprentices as there was a fear that young people would be hard-bit by the impact of the coronavirus crisis. It seems that efficient manufacturing companies are starting to show signs of recovering well from Covid-19.”

The company, established in Hilton Street Darwen in 1984, plans to start work soon on a new high-bay warehouse with space for 6,000 pallets.