Wienerberger’s Ewhurst brick factory in Surrey was reopened by Brandon Lewis MP, Minister of State for Housing and Planning this morning (March 2).
The factory will contribute to an increase in Wienerberger’s brick production by 200 million units annually – enough for around 25,000 new homes. Ewhurst was mothballed in 2008 during the downturn in housebuilding; it’s re-opening follows that of the company’s Hartlebury plant last summer.
Harald Schwarzmayr, managing director of Wienerberger UK, said: “The reopening of the Ewhurst brick factory is not only great news for the UK’s economy but represents a new lease of life for the construction industry. December 2014 saw the fastest paced growth within the sector in six and a half years and marked eight consecutive months of development; moreover, forecasts predict an incremental rise in construction between 2015 and 2018. By investing in materials and individuals we are confident that the housing sector will be able to reach its annual target of 250,000 new properties.”
Lewis said: “It’s been a key part of our long-term economic plan to get the country building again and it’s working with housebuilding at its highest annual total since 2007, and nearly 192,000 people helped to buy or reserve a new home thanks to Government-backed schemes.
“So I’m delighted that the factory at Ewhurst is reopening in response to this increased demand for bricks – a site that was mothballed in 2008 is now back up and running, which will contribute to providing jobs for 150 people and 200million bricks a year.
“But we want to maintain this momentum, which is why we’re introducing Starter Homes – from today builders can submit their planning applications to build these properties, which will be available to young first-time buyers at a 20 per cent discount.”