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    Friday, 3 February 2017

    Clipper Tea Factory Expansion Aims to Double Workforce

    Clipper Tea’s Beaminster Factory, owned and operated by Wessanen UK, is set to expand its operations after planning permission was granted by West Dorset District Council. The expansion seeks to consolidate the factory on the south end of the site whilst creating 45 new homes, including affordable housing provision, on the land to the north of the site.

    Mark Bagwell, Operations Director at Wessanen UK, said, “We are obviously delighted to have received planning permission to proceed with our exciting production expansion plans.

    “Demolition of the existing offices on the south side of the site is scheduled to begin in March of this year, with the extension to production to follow straight after.”

    The planned expansion, along with the installation of three new bagging machines, will significantly boost productivity. Bagwell is hoping that this will “further support the massive growth of both Clipper and other Wessanen tea brands in Europe.”

    Andrew Martin, case officer for West Dorset District Council, views the proposed development as necessary to safeguard to local economy. In a report concerning the proposals he states, “The council’s economic development team reports that the immediate economic benefit of the proposed development proceedings would be to secure the existing 120 jobs on site, with the potential to double the workforce within five years.

    “The risk if the application is refused would be to see no further investment in the existing site and possible closure of all activity within three to five years – leading to the loss of all existing jobs and a further 50 in the local supply chain. This could amount to a total loss to the local economy of £21m per annum.”

    He further added that the housing development to the north of the site, which the agreement between council and company states must be comprised of at least 35% affordable housing and 70% affordable rented units, is “unquestionably a social benefit”.

    The company plans to fully occupy the new build by the end of 2017, according to Bagwell.

    Sam Bonson

    Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.
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