The firm has seen orders fall 40% and has some 12-months of stock in its yards but it believes there is still вЂњpent up demandвЂќ to be satisfied by its new automated facility.
Chief executive Patrick OвЂ™Shea predicted the market would вЂњdeteriorate furtherвЂќ but was confident that the company would be in a position to respond once demand returned.
He said that despite the financial problems at parent HeidelbergCement there was still support for its investment. вЂњThis is replacing old technology with new,вЂќ he added. вЂњThe direction hasnвЂ™t been there to close things down. When the market returns we will need to be ready. Our job is to promote best practice.вЂќADVERTISEMENT
The new plant will employ just 28 people and have the capacity to produce 100m bricks a year, with the possibility of doubling capacity with further investment.
It has been built on brownfield land and will feature a host of sustainable features, helping it achieve a BREEAM very good rating.
Managing director David Szymanski said: вЂњThis significant investment in the most modern brick plant in Europe emphasises out commitment to the future of the industry and will ensure we stay ahead of the field when the recovery kicks in.
вЂњThe long-term clay reserves at Measham coupled with a highly efficient, low-cost production process puts us in a very strong position both now and into the future.вЂќ
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