Brick manufacturer invests £12m in Accrington site

Building products manufacturer Forterra is set to invest £12m in its Accrington facility to capitalise on the growth in demand for brick slips.

The Accrington site has been producing traditional bricks for more than 100 years, with its iconic NORI bricks being used in construction projects around the world, including in New York's Empire State Building.

In more recent years, brick slips have been growing in popularity as an environmentally-friendly alternative. These 'thin bricks' are used in façades which have the appearance, colour and texture of an authentic brick wall. They are lighter than traditional masonry, offer a speedier build-process and require less energy and raw materials to produce.

Forterra estimates the current supply of brick slips to be 120m units per year. Following its factory overhaul, it will be capable of producing 48m per year. The move will create 10 jobs.

Stephen Harrison, chief executive of Forterra, said: "This investment will allow Forterra to continue to be a leading player in innovation across the construction industry.

"We’re always on the watch for exciting new developments which can both reduce costs and secure an eco-friendly and sustainable output; the brick slips investment is a really exciting venture which will streamline our production and provide long term benefits, not only to the industry as a whole, but also to the Accrington area."

Fronterra operates 17 manufacturing facilities in the UK, employing 1,800.