Westframe, the timber frame manufacturing division of leading developer Westleigh, is looking to triple its production over the next three years after moving to a new 20,000 sq ft production facility.
The new premises based at Fosse Way Industrial Estate in Narborough is more than double the size of Westframe’s former premises in Enderby and was acquired in a deal secured by property consultant Innes England.
The move will allow the company, which designs and manufactures bespoke timber frame solutions for the construction industry, to produce over 3,000 linear metres of panels per week, which is the equivalent to building 36 properties a week. This compares to an average of 1,740 metres which the company was producing at its former factory site in Enderby.
In order to meet demand, Westframe also intends to increase its workforce by employing 45 new staff within the next 12 months and is keen to provide local employment opportunities by hiring staff from within the Leicestershire area. Training and on-going support is provided to employees with no previous experience in timber manufacturing.
Dave Thacker, General Manager at Westframe, commented, “These are very exciting times at Westframe. Timber is a truly sustainable material that provides thermally efficient, cost effective and durable homes and, as a result of these benefits, demand for our timber frame is increasing and the future looks very positive for us.
“This major investment in new premises has allowed us to streamline our manufacturing process for greater efficiency. Similar investments in plant, machinery and computerised design systems mean we are confident that we will be able to triple our production in the next three years.”
Peter Doleman, director at Innes England’s Leicester office, acting on behalf of the warehouse’s landlord Hampton Trust Investment Properties, said, “Following a rapid recovery the residential housing market is currently seeing rates of growth of around 10 per cent thanks to low interest rates and pent up demand from previous years, fuelling the growth for our developer clients such as Westleigh.
“Westleigh is well known in the East Midlands as a forward thinking residential and commercial property developer and, with the region now seeing an influx of new housing developments, needed to expand its premises to meet growing demand for its innovative Westframe products.”
Launched in 2001, Westframe was conceived in response to the Department of Trade and Industry’s 1998 Egan Report which challenged the construction industry to create quicker to build, more energy efficient, environmentally friendly and more cost effective housing. Westframe only sources its wood from certified suppliers and has an environmental agreement with forest managers, who plant three trees for every one felled.
The majority of Westframe’s customers are Registered Providers and its panels are used to produce 100 per cent of Westleigh’s timber frame homes for the affordable housing market however, it has also branched out into the commercial and domestic markets as well. Sites range across the Midlands from Kings Lynn to Coventry, from Rotherham to Northampton.
The innovative timber frames are currently being used to build a brand new extra care housing development in Blaby that will combine self contained living with expert on-site care and support for older people. The £7.8m scheme, named Oak Court, is being developed by emh group, an affordable housing provider, in partnership with Leicestershire County Council and Blaby District Council. It will include 50 one and two bedroom flats and a range of communal spaces. The extra care scheme forms part of a larger project of 96 homes being built by Westleigh for emh group in Winchester Road, Blaby, and will be completed in Spring 2015.
Westframe is keen to develop and undertake new and interesting challenges both in the domestic and social housing sector. For more information contact Dave Thacker or any member of the Westframe team on 0116 284 9670 or visit the website at www.westframe.co.uk