Packaging firm bags £500k production line
One of the country's top packaging specialists has installed a new £500,000 production line at its Lincolnshire base.
The machinery will allow Forum Packaging, in Horncastle, to produce 26 million paper flour bags every year.
The German-imported equipment is part a £1.1 million investment that has been pumped into the firm after a management buyout 18 months ago.
Forum Packaging, which reported a £11.5 million turnover last year, will now be able to provide a greater range of package sizes for its suppliers.
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The award-winning business already offers an extensive variety of products that are on the shelves on many of the country's major supermarkets.
Managing director Mark Spivey said the firm would be one of a small group of businesses able to produce certain flour bag sizes.
"It's very exciting and it's a super opportunity for us," he said.
"It's saying to our existing customers that we are listening to what they're telling us – that they want someone else in the market place.
"There are only two other companies in the UK doing this and we think there is room for a third player.
"One of our USPs is that we can offer full metal detection on our packing production line."
The company, which was founded in 1964, has a workforce of 82 staff and is the second biggest employer in Horncastle.
One of only three large printing and packaging specialists in the UK, Forum provides solutions for a wide range of products in 15 market sectors.
These include rice for well-known brands such as Tilda, pet food and gardening products.
The latest investments have come after Mr Spivey and finance director Rob Massey bought the company from D S Smith Plc last year.
Money has been spent on improving buildings, machinery and supply chain improvements.
And Mr Spivey hopes more improvements will follow.
"We have invested all profits back into the company because we feel it's very important that we grow this business," he said.
"We have a fantastic workforce and the investments will help us to get fantastic quality but with the same people, although that's not to say we won't take on more people in future."
Since the management buyout the company has taken on an apprentice for the first time.
Mr Spivey added around five more could be taken on in the next few years.
"It's something that we feel very passionate about," he said.
"We decided it was about time we took on some of these kids that don't want to spend the money on university but are bright enough to go and want to do something vocational."