Warners Midlands has been granted planning permission for a new press hall that will almost double production space at its plant in Bourne, Lincolnshire.
The project will deliver an additional 3,000m2 of production space over two levels compared to the existing press hall, built in 2006, which has 3,700m2 of production space. The ground floor area of the new hall will measure 1,870m2. This added to more than 7,600m2 that was already part of The Maltings site. In addition the company has offices and other accommodation on site.
Announcing the news on Twitter, managing director Philip Warner declared on Friday: “Really great way to end the week. Planning permission granted for new press and bindery hall. Exciting times!”
Construction must begin within three years and can only start after a building, used by the company’s engineering department, is photographed for archival purposes before its can be demolished. This is already in progress. The company must also move water tanks to the edge of the site, which is scheduled for completion in July. That will be followed by the tender process to appoint a construction company. Research into the next generation of press technology is also under way, with a Warners team having visited printers in Germany.
Once completed the company will have two press halls of similar style running alongside each other and connected by the paper store. Presses will be on the ground floor of both with binding lines above. Currently Warners has two Manroland Lithoman IV 32pp web presses and two Goss M600 16pp machines, one with a sheeter. It also has three sheetfed machines, ten-unit KBA Rapida 106, ten-unit Roland 700 and six-colour Komori Lithrone 40 with UV coater for covers.
The open plan design of the new press hall will give the company a range of options on equipment that might be deemed necessary.
While Warners’ factory is in the centre of Bourne and part of the conservation area in the Lincolnshire town, the company is one of the largest employers in the town with a workforce of 240. The continuation of the company’s growth and potential to increase employment was part of the consideration. The design, by architects Guy Taylor Associates, is intended to have minimal impact on views and the buildings surrounding the factory site. A new beech hedge will be laid to add further screening.
The company reported sales of £31.7 million in 2017, up from £31.4 million for 2016, generating an operating profit of £3.13 million (£2.73 million). This is coming close to the capacity of the current operation.