Steelite International (SI), one of the few remaining pottery manufacturers in the UK, has announced plans to invest around £10m to expand its business.
Neil Hooper, managing director of SI Europe & MEAAP, told Caterer and Hotelkeeper that the company would invest £4m in early 2014, of which £2m will be spent on new buildings and pressure casts and £2m will go towards new kilns.
A further £6m investment will be made in 2015 to expand the existing site and factory by 6,000 sq m in a development project that is expected to take three years.
Around 230 new jobs are expected to be created as a result of the growth plans at the company, which still moulds, finishes and glazes the majority of its tableware and hollow-ware by hand. Most of the staff currently employed by the factory live within a five-mile radius.
Steelite reported £70.2m annual turnover in 2012. The company said it expects to top this in 2013 following the acquisition of the iconic Royal Crown Derby last year and the success of its Craft range, recently launched in white.
Manufacturing levels have been increased following the growth of international sales, and the expansion aims to allow volumes to be further improved in line with demand.
Heather Lovatt, head of marketing, said: "The expansion will take Steelite to more than 1,000 people. We've achieved this by working together on our training programmes and our commitment to recycling, with 97% of all our waste recycled and our products."