Ibstock invests £7.6m in Cannock brickworks
The UK's biggest clay brick maker has unveiled a £7.6 million investment at its factory in Cannock.
A new kiln at Lodge Lane will boost production by up to eight million bricks a year, enabling the site to produce a total of 28 million bricks a year at a time when demand for building materials are soaring.
The Cannock factory is the home of Ibstock's distinctive Stafford Slate Blue brick, made from Staffordshire's distinctive red clay, Etruria marl.
Lodge Lane in Cannock opened in 1991. The investment project, which included a new kiln, started in January last year with the factory being fully commissioned by the end of March this year.
The factory manufactures four types of blue brick - with its most popular being the Staffordshire Slate Blue Smooth - in 65mm, 73mm and solids. The factory also has a specials department which makes a variety of different shaped bricks including sills, plinths, bullnose, and chamfered.
Whilst blue bricks will be the main manufacturing focus, Lodge Lane also has the capability to manufacture red bricks
Factory manager Richard Hall says the investment at the Cannock site was a real commitment to the future of blue brick manufacturing.
He said: “The new kiln gives us increased capacity and the ability to produce up to 28 million bricks every year. It is the boost that the site needed and gives us a really good foundation to build on for the future. There is a lot of tradition in blue brick manufacturing and we are carrying this on and since we have increased production we have seen growing demand for these products.”
Ibstock is the biggest manufacturer of clay bricks sold in the UK. With 20 manufacturing plants – including two in Aldridge – producing more than 850,000 new bricks per annum. It also operates It operates a network of 23 active quarries which are generally located close to its manufacturing plants.