The leading wood-based materials manufacturer opened its doors over the weekend for the local community to find out more about its operations.
The free family-friendly open days, held on September 15th and 16th, were organised with health and safety as a top priority at the plant, which employs over 600 people and where production lines run 24/7 every day of the year.
Visitors were able to take part in a behind the scenes walking tour of the factory to see exactly what goes on at one of Europe’s most technologically advanced chipboard sites, or hop on a land train for a child-friendly overview of the site.
There were plenty of activities on offer for families to enjoy, including a harvesting simulator to understand more about working in the forest, as well as face painting, a raffle, live music, food, drink and more.
Bob Livesey, commercial director at EGGER in Western Europe, said: “On Saturday we invited EGGER employees, their friends and families to the plant and on Sunday we welcomed the general public. We were pleased to have so many of the local community to our Hexham site for an insight into what we do here, along with our forestry and wood recycling subsidiaries, and enjoy a host of fantastic family activities.”
Tobias Zimmermann, plant director technical/production, EGGER Hexham, said: “EGGER knows how important it is to continue to build stron
g relationships with the local community and this was the perfect opportunity for us to do this. Overall, the event was hugely popular with our Sunday event reaching capacity. There were so many positive comments and it was clear that our visitors really enjoyed it. We would love to have had even more people on the day, but this is a working factory and the safety of everyone on site is always our top priority.”
John Paterson, director of EGGER Forestry, said: “It was fantastic to see so many people interested in learning about responsible forestry management, something we are truly passionate about, at the open day weekend. The forestry harvesting demonstrations provided an opportunity for people to safely see what is involved in our forestry operations. The harvesting simulator also provided a fun and interactive way for families to really understand what it’s like to work in the forest. A big thank you goes to John Deere who supplied and showcased the forestry machinery at the weekend.”
Clare Ball, human resources country manager, EGGER UK, said: “The Open Day weekend was a great way to showcase our plant; the diverse processes we have alongside the varied work we carry out at EGGER. The recruitment stand was extremely popular with visitors keen to find out more about careers at EGGER and our current opportunities, including information about our upcoming Apprentice Open Day on 8th November.”
Mark Hayton, director of Timberpak Ltd, said: “EGGER takes its environmental and sustainability responsibilities seriously and that’s why Timberpak was set up – to source waste wood as a part of EGGER’s manufacturing process. The Open Day weekend was a brilliant opportunity to show the local community the EGGER ‘Eco Cycle’, how Timberpak fits into it and why recycled material is so important.”
EGGER employs around 800 people in the United Kingdom and their manufacturing plants at Hexham, Northumberland and Auchinleck, Ayrshire produce chipboard. At the Hexham site, the chipboard is further upgraded (Melamine Faced Chipboard (MFC)) into products for the furniture and interior design markets and tongue and groove flooring for the building market.
In 30-plus years of manufacturing in the UK, EGGER has created 8.5 million tonnes of EGGER chipboard. During this time, it has produced enough melamine-faced chipboard to build one and a half kitchens in every UK home and enough tongue and groove structural flooring for two million homes.