Building products maker Forterra plans to invest £12 million in its Accrington facility to capitalize on the surge in demand for paving bricks.

The Accrington site has been producing traditional bricks for over 100 years, with its iconic NORI tiles being used in construction projects around the world, including in the Empire State Building in New York.

In recent years, sliding tiles are increasingly popular as an eco-friendly alternative. These ‘thin bricks’ used in the facades have the look, color and texture of an authentic brick wall. They are lighter than traditional bricks, provide a faster construction process and require less energy and raw materials for production.

Forterra estimates a current tile supply of 120 million units per year. After the factory overhaul, it will have a production capacity of 48m per year. This move will create 10 jobs.

Stephen Harrison, chief executive officer of Forterra, said: “This investment will allow Forterra to continue to be a leader in innovation across the construction industry.

“We’re always on the lookout for exciting new developments that can both reduce costs and ensure eco-friendly and sustainable output; the brick-and-mortar investment is a really exciting venture that will streamline production. our production and bring long-term benefits, not only to the general public, but also to the Accrington area.”

Fronterra operates 17 manufacturing facilities in the UK, employing 1,800 people.

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