Revealed: Plans for a £4m caravan factory set to create 60 jobs in Hull
An image of the proposed factory on Burma Drive
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 28 Mar 2018
Plans have been revealed for a £4 million static caravan and mobile home manufacturing site in east Hull which could create 60 jobs.
Ultimate Leisure Homes has submitted plans to build the new facility across three plots at the Burma Drive industrial estate where the firm is currently based.
The business is part of the family-owned Dutch caravan manufacturer Griftdijk Group, which has been established for more than 50 years.
The firm’s CEO, Jorden Visser, says he hopes the new factory site, which will double capacity and staff numbers, will be completed by the end of 2018.
The plots in the planning application to Hull City Council were recently made available for development as part of an extension to Burma drive to develop new industrial development sites as part of a Green Port enterprise zone.
Ultimate Leisure Homes is building the new 4349m sq facility on land purchased from Hull City Council, which it says is “essential” to accommodate for a growth in productivity.
Mr Visser says the firm, which has been based in Hull since around 2016, saw the availability of skilled workers and suppliers in the sector in Hull as a key factor for the investment.
“We came to Hull a couple of years ago and have been working at a small factory at Burma Drive, but we have outgrown it because there has been a lot of demand,” he said.
“The next logical step was to grow our site in Hull, which we plan to do at Burma Drive as it’s been made an enterprise area. We focused on the export market but now we want to expand into the UK market and give us two legs to stand on.
“We don’t have enough staff so are looking to expand in recruit, but we have been in Hull and want to invest here because there are skills here and that’s a major factor.
“We’ve been working here with local distributors like Neill and Brown. Obviously there are lots of concerns regarding Brexit but we still thought the industry skills and suppliers here make it the best place to invest.”
The facility will represent the new British arm of the Netherlands-based business, which says the move will allow it to expand into the UK market.
Currently the firm builds static caravans and mobile homes for the export market at its Hull factory, and says that international transport links from the Port of Hull is vital.
The CEO said: “What we are planning to build is quite state of the art – it will be a new factory with two production lines to double our capacity. The production method will involve prebuilt roofs being craned onto the caravans.
“Someone from the UK’s International Trade Department was actually visiting us today to speak our plans for the new factory. It’s fantastic and I want to mention the positive support the British embassy and representative.
“We think our plans our quite innovative as well. We want it to be an inviting place for people to work and think it is very important to be an ethical employer as well, utilising apprenticeships and employing people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“We hope to double our capacity and double our workforce as well, to 120. We’re hoping for planning permission in April, and then would look to start construction in May for completion in quarter four of 2018.”
The site will include factory, support, welfare and associated ancillary provisions. The factory floor would now have space to run two linear production lines, not possible within the current facility due to production constraints.
The company received support in its application from architects' practice Ralgreen and Bytlung Consultancy as project manager and structural engineer.
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