Top aluminium foil container manufacturer Nicholl Food Packaging has acquired new Midland premises to allow it to expand and integrate its warehousing and distribution operations on one site.


Nicholl will also use its new 150,000 sq ft facility in Cannock to centralise the group’s administration staff, and ultimately increase manufacturing capability as it has reached maximum capacity at its Aldridge headquarters.


Work has already begun on stripping out and re-fitting the former Gripperods/Duralay factory which is located on a nine-acre site in Walkmill Lane, Bridgtown.


Nicholl Food Packaging, which has a turnover of £65 million, manufactures aluminium foil containers for the bakery, catering and fast food / ethnic take-away trades, supermarkets and institutional caterers.


Two years ago the company became the largest producer of aluminium foil containers in Europe when it took over its closest competitor, Ekco Group of Chesham, Buckinghamshire.


Since then Chesham administration staff have operated from Aldridge, and, said commercial director Andrew Dent, “we are bursting at the seams”.


Mr Dent said: “The purchase of the Cannock site means we can consolidate our distribution. At the moment we have a lot of warehousing facilities dotted about the country, and this will allow us to centralise this part of the business in the Midlands.”


The Cannock premises are located beside the new Birmingham Northern Relief Road and close to the M6.


“In terms of distribution it is ideal, giving us quick and easy access to the country’s motorway network,” said Mr Dent.


More than 100 personnel will eventually work from the new premises which are likely to be fully operational by the autumn next year. Administration staff will move when the offices are refitted and equipped, and distribution and warehousing will follow.


The warehouse will accommodate 6,000 pallets – considerably more than the company’s current stockholding capacity.


Group company chairman Wilson Nicholl, said: “Our new Cannock facility represents another landmark in our corporate development and provides future growth prospects for the Nicholl Group of Companies.”


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Note to Editors: Nicholl Food Packaging has UK plants at Aldridge in the West Midlands, Chesham in Buckinghamshire, and further facilities in Belgium and France. Last month the company announced it had formed a strategic alliance with Ecopack of Turin, Italy, to offer its customers a wide range of paper products.