First despatch at Desford: Europe’s biggest brick factory begins rollout

First despatch at Desford: Europe’s biggest brick factory begins rollout

The first bricks have now been despatched from the biggest and most efficient manufacturing plant in Europe, Forterra’s new Desford factory in Leicestershire.

UnSug-Forterra-Desford-13042023-82 Forterra’s first despatch numbered 23,740 bricks

The leading building products manufacturer has invested £95 million into future-proofing its Desford factory to achieve outstanding overall equipment effectiveness while upgrading production capacity to a massive 185 million bricks per year, ensuring it becomes the largest, most efficient brick factory across the UK and Europe. Situated just two miles from the M1 and with excellent transport links, the new Desford site will offer a range of red and buff bricks designed to meet the demands of UK housebuilders.

UnSug-Forterra-Desford-13042023-11 – First bricks being loaded onto the Ultra-Efficient I-save truck

For Desford’s first despatch, 23,740  Cheshire Red Multibricks were packed onto trucks from Forterra’s Euro 6 fleet, which uses the ultra-fuel-efficient i-save engine to reduce emissions while delivering top transport efficiency.

The first two batches of bricks were delivered to Taylor Wimpey, one of the UKs largest housebuilders. Once the Desford factory opens to full operating capacity, it will despatch over 1,000 packs of bricks per day and produce enough bricks to build 24,000 new homes per year, competently meeting the demands of the housing sector.

UnSug-Forterra-Desford-13042023-76 – The first despatch saw Cheshire Red Multibricks delivered to Taylor Wimpey

Incorporating state-of-the-art innovations with sustainability mechanisms, robotics hardware and advanced packaging solutions, the factory upgrade is set to emit approximately 25% less carbon dioxide per brick than the old factory, a reduction in emissions that is well in line with the industry drive towards sustainable production.

“With ambitious ESG targets for 2030, we know that sustainability has to be approached holistically,” says Neil Ash, CEO of Forterra, “which is why at Desford we’ve incorporated advanced sustainability mechanisms across all aspects of production, packaging, and delivery.

“The factory’s impressive production capacity will ensure we can manufacture hundreds of millions of bricks per year using a process that has been streamlined to be efficient and sustainable while satisfying the ongoing demands of our customers.

“The Desford factory complements several other investments and developments Forterra have made over the past year, such as a solar farm, which will render 70% of our power usage electric by 2025; a new eco-fleet of trucks, which will reduce our transportation emissions; and new packaging solutions, which place us a step closer to our goal of attaining a 50% reduction in single-use plastics by 2025.

“We’re delighted that the first load of bricks has been dispatched, and eagerly await the full factory opening in May.”

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