A huge deal for a new factory has completed on the back of a Hull manufacturer winning its biggest ever contract.
Paneltex is now taking on a new 140,000 sq ft site at Newport after securing the work to produce cargo boxes for a new electric vehicle brand. The move was first revealed in October, when a lease was agreed.
Volta Trucks awarded the contract to the £74 million turnover company, renowned for producing refrigerated supermarket delivery vehicles, earlier last year. It is aiming to create 240 new jobs – upping the workforce by more than a third to 900.
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The site, on Dianthus Business Park off the A63, will complement its heavily invested city operations. Manufacturing and onward export to Austria is set to begin in June, once full fit-out of the premises is complete – subject to final consents.
Jelle Zwemstra, managing director at site owner Newport Buildings, said: “We are delighted to bring Paneltex onto Dianthus Business Park, they are a local, fast growing, successful company with a very strong management team, who require good quality modern facilities for their operations.
“We look forward to working closely with Paneltex and ensuring that they can keep growing and bring even more employment to East Yorkshire.”
Dianthus Business Park was established in 2010 when JZ Flowers made a decision to consolidate three production sites in Hull into a purpose-built, state-of-the-art single location.
It is now home to tenants from a wide range of different industries with companies including QwikFlowers, Royal Lemkes Ltd, William Jackson Food Group, ProGarm and FlamePro.
Paneltex was founded in 1991 and has seen huge growth as home delivery has accelerated in the UK and North America.
Chris Berridge, managing director, said “all was looking good for a really exciting project” as a final planning consent is awaited.
Initial recruitment is underway with the plan to start production in June, with a full single shift by the year end and second shift added in 2024 in a phased approach. He previously told how Paneltex will be supplying to automotive standards and the first at scale in Europe, which could bring considerable further potential in the mid term.
The site, formerly occupied by JZ subsidiary Intergreen, includes first-floor offices and amenities including a gymnasium and canteen. The deal was overseen by David Garness, of Hull-based commercial property specialists Garness Jones, which handles lettings at the site on behalf of its owners.
He said: “I am delighted to have completed this latest letting at Dianthus Business Park to Paneltex as they are a fantastic business and real success story – a locally formed company which is leading the way in its industry through innovation and ambition.
“It is a business, which like many others on this site, is creating a lot of highly-skilled jobs and making a really positive contribution to the local economy. It is fantastic to be able to support them on the next step in their journey and it is another landmark letting for Dianthus Business Park, adding to the great diversity of businesses in occupation.”
Plans to expand have been mooted recently, with interest in the last available existing units strong. Mr Garness said he expects to be adding further tenants in the coming months.
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