Construction of a new £22m Tiger Trailers factory began today in Winsford, with bosses saying the site will create 120 permanent skilled jobs for Cheshire and the surrounding area.
Joint Managing Directors John and Steven Cartwright say the business is outgrowing its current production facility, so is investing in the new factory to help double production output to around 3,000 trailers and truck bodies a year.
The company’s 180 existing staff, alongside local Member of Parliament Antoinette Sandbach, were on hand to witness the breaking ground ceremony off Road One on the Winsford Industrial Estate, less than a mile from the current plant.
Tiger Trailers will have an immediate requirement for 40 new starters ahead of the factory beginning the production transfer at the end of the year, including 20 apprentices – with staffing levels set to continue growing throughout 2019.
John Cartwright says: “Today marks a new chapter in the history of Tiger. We’ve been planning this factory for almost two years, designing it from the ground up to be the most modern facility of its kind in the industry – and we’ve put our people at the forefront of those plans.
“The new factory will be a fantastic place to work, with every member of the team excited to be a part of what we’re building – we can’t wait to realise its full potential.”
The new factory will incorporate features designed to improve working conditions for every member of staff, including a state-of-the-art ventilation and heating system. A full-service canteen, spacious work stations, in-house training centre, as well as outdoor seating, garden, pond and woodland pathways. There will also be dedicated lockers and changing rooms, undercover bike storage areas, electric car charging points and free parking – all protected by 24/7 on-site security.
Tiger has grown quickly from a turnover of £1.98m in 2014 to £31.51m in 2017, with the new factory providing the capability to reach £60m – £70m after three years.
Steven Cartwright explains: “We elected to remain in Winsford as we’ve built up a fantastic team, plus we are also well positioned for attracting new talent from across Cheshire, Staffordshire, Lancashire, North Wales, Merseyside and Greater Manchester.
“Over the past four years the Tiger brand has grown significantly within the transport industry. We now supply some of the world’s leading logistic, parcel and retail operators with a wide range of equipment. The increasing popularity and interest around Tiger was underlined by our inclusion in the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, which will only help us to continue attracting the right people for the roles.”
Cabinet Member Legal and Finance, Councillor David Armstrong adds: “This is an important day for Tiger Trailers and the borough as a whole. The new factory will provide more skilled jobs for local people and we see this development being a showcase for other businesses considering bringing their operations to Winsford.”
Construction firm Bowmer & Kirkland will now lead an estimated 27-week build and fitting-out phase for the 168,000ft² site. Once complete, the new facility will enable Tiger to branch out into new sectors – including the country’s booming home delivery vehicle market, as well as temperature-controlled bodies and trailers.
The new building will utilise energy efficient heat pump heating and cooling systems, as well as high efficiency LED lighting throughout the offices and production area, each with automated lighting controls. Natural ventilation will be boosted by a super-efficient heat recovery ventilation system which is to be employed within the offices, while gas-fired radiant heating will be used throughout the production area – ensuring the facility gains an overall ‘A’ rating for efficiency.
Upon completion of the new site local wildlife will be encouraged to colonise the greenspace and pond area, plus sensitive lighting principles are being implemented, including the use of hoods on external column lights to direct the light downwards, minimising disturbance to nearby foraging bats. Bat and bird boxes will also be installed on adjacent trees to provide new roosting and nesting opportunities.
The company’s initial £22m investment is privately financed – equally by shareholders and bank support. The site includes provision for a second build phase which could be accommodated in the future, increasing production capacity to approximately 5,000 trailers and bodies per year, without disruption to existing production.