Multi-million pound works underway at packaging firm

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Major construction work has this week begun at a Belper packaging firm, as part of a £6 million expansion, bosses have said.

The investment at DS Smith’s Packaging factory on Derby Road will see a state-of-the-art printing press built and will enable the factory to continue to produce recycled corrugated packaging for some of the world’s largest brands.

The firm employs 170 people, and has been in the town since the early 1960s. It specialises in the manufacture of printed corrugated boxes, which can be seen on supermarket shelves across the country.

Among the company’s clients – which has its head office is in Berkshire – are Snickers, Mars, GlaxoSmithKline, Bassetts and Seven Seas.

The expansion represents the first phase in an ambitious plan to add 50 per cent to the site’s production capacity.

Graham Tattam, managing director at DS Smith Packaging in Belper, said: “We are delighted to have secured this investment, it is a massive vote of confidence in the team at Belper and will ensure we continue to produce industry-leading quality packaging.”

The start of the building work was marked with a ceremony on the site, attended by Graham Tattam as well as Pauline Latham, MP for Mid Derbyshire, and John Kirkland, chairman of Bower and Kirkland, the local construction company responsible for building the new facility.

Pauline Latham said: “It’s great to see a local manufacturing business have the confidence to invest at a time when others are finding trading conditions pretty tough.”

With a turnover of £2 billion, DS Smith employs more than 22,000 people across Europe and the Belper factory is one of 28 sites in the UK.

In March, the Belper factory beat off competition from from 33 countries to win a top industry award for a corrugated packaging design which tilts products towards customers on the supermarket shelf.

The DS Smith group it belongs to is now the second largest manufacturer of corrugated products in Europe

The companys continental corrugated operation is based at 27 sites spread across France, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The company began in 1940, as David S. Smith, manufacturing cartons. The business was incorporated in 1960 and was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1986.