Barnsley firm’s move sparks jobs boost

A manufacturing company expects to create around 60 new jobs in Barnsley as it moves to a huge state-of-the-art factory in the borough.

Ellbee Ltd is transferring all of its operations at three sites in Leeds to the Nexus 36 unit at Ashroyd Business Park, close to Junction 36 of the M1, within the next four months.

It is currently recruiting for an initial 30 posts created by the relocation, which is being assisted by Barnsley Development Agency.

Ashroyd Business Park is among developments along the M1 corridor making up Sheffield City Region Enterprise Zone, where incentives are available to encourage growth and investment by modern manufacturing and technology based firms.

Ellbee, which has been established for over 65 years, is the UK’s leading maker of uPVC and aluminium windows, doors and shower enclosures for the caravan and holiday home, DIY, and home improvement markets. Its clients include caravan and holiday home companies Willerby, ABI, Carnaby, Atlas and Swift, and DIY giant Wickes.

Ellbee has signed a 15-year lease for the Nexus 36 unit – a single-span, new-build across 205,000 square feet.

Ellbee’s managing director Nigel Smailes said the new base would provide a platform from which to grow the business in its existing markets and in new sectors, such as new house construction.

He said: “We’ve invested heavily over recent years to reduce costs and improve response times for our customers, but operating from three old sites does compromise absolute efficiency.

“We carefully considered a number of different sites for relocation. The unit in Barnsley allows us to bring all our operations under one roof and lay processes out in straight lines to improve productivity.

“We also chose the site for its excellent transport links, especially to the East Coast, and because being based there gives us access to a pool of skilled local staff.”

Nigel added that the move was a massive vote of confidence from Ellbee’s parent company, building products group Euramax Holdings Inc, based in the USA and worth $1.5 billion.

Operations will switch from Leeds in three phases between now and February to ensure supply to customers is not disrupted.

Part of Ellbee’s existing workforce will transfer from Leeds. The total number of new jobs in Barnsley is not yet known but it is expected to be in the region of 60, making up a total workforce of about 200. Vacancies will be across the board from fabricators to customer service and operations management staff.

Councillor Linda Burgess, Barnsley Council spokesperson for Development, Environment and Culture (Strategy, Programmes and Projects), said: “We are delighted to welcome Ellbee to Barnsley. The new factory will provide an excellent and accessible facility for further growth which will include a range of recruitment opportunities for the local area.

“Barnsley Council’s Economic Development Team, Barnsley Development Agency, is working closely with Ellbee to help the company settle into the area. Our experienced, professional team supports companies throughout the relocation process, and helps to show that Barnsley is a great place to grow a business.”