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Ibstock to invest £50m in brick slips factory

3 Nov 21 Brick maker Ibstock is launching a new business specialising in brick slip systems.

Ibstock's MechSlip cladding system
Ibstock's MechSlip cladding system

The new venture, Ibstock Futures, aims to grow the brick maker’s presence in the market for façade products in off-site and modular construction.

It is targeting both the new build and re-cladding markets, with products suitable for a range of residential, commercial and mixed-use applications.

Ibstock Futures will be headquartered at the group's London I-studio but will have a new factory in Yorkshire.

As Ibstock Futures' launch project, Ibstock has announced plans to invest £50m in building the UK's first automated brick slip systems factory in Nostell, West Yorkshire.

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The factory will be constructed within the footprint of Ibstock’s existing Nostell facility, which operated as a brick factory until its closure in 2020. The planning application process has started, and construction on site is expected to start by March 2022.

Ibstock said that the UK market for brick slips was approximately 120 million slips a year, and growing fast. However, at present, automated plants in mainland Europe supply around two-thirds of the brick slips used in the UK, with the remainder cut manually from facing bricks in the UK.

The investment at Nostell is expected to provide capacity for up to 60 million brick slips a year. An initial investment of around £38m, providing capacity to produce 30 million brick slips, will be spread evenly across 2022 and 2023, with the factory commissioning in late 2023. The second phase of investment is expected to be made later as additional capacity is required.

Chief executive Joe Hudson said: "The launch of Ibstock Futures is an important strategic development for the group and will directly address a number of exciting growth markets that complement our existing offer for conventional building methods as the focus on sustainability and the industrialisation of construction processes gathers pace. This investment in brick slips manufacturing capacity at scale will be a first for the UK and will enable us to take a leadership position in this fast-growing market. The Nostell plant is the first of a pipeline of growth initiatives we have in development for Ibstock Futures and we are excited about the potential this new business has to accelerate growth in the years ahead."

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