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Former Cromer crab factory gets new ‘shell’ as successful manufacturing company prepares to move in

PUBLISHED: 16:49 01 August 2014 | UPDATED: 16:49 01 August 2014

Cromer Structureflex topping out - Paul Reeve, MD of Structure-flex Ltd conducting the topping out ceremony accompanied by Jason Menezes of Bidwells and Chris Varvel of Pentaco Construction. Picture; JOHN MILLER PHOTOGRAPHY

Cromer Structureflex topping out - Paul Reeve, MD of Structure-flex Ltd conducting the topping out ceremony accompanied by Jason Menezes of Bidwells and Chris Varvel of Pentaco Construction. Picture; JOHN MILLER PHOTOGRAPHY

JOHNMILLERPHOTO

A former crab factory is being transformed into a hi-tech new home for a north Norfolk manufacturing business with customers across the globe.

Structure-flex is poised to move from its current Melton Constable base to the former Cromer crab factory - with production due to start in November.

The former seafood unit has, appropriately, been given a new energy-efficient “shell” - marked by a topping out ceremony today, Friday August 1.

Next it will be fitted out with a mixture of new and relocated equipment to produce products including: digitally-printed commercial vehicle curtain side; flexible bulk contains; crane testing bags; and liquid tanks.

Director Ian Doughty said the combination of a new base and technology kept Structure-flex “at the forefront of a very demanding market.”

The 65-strong workforce will move across in the autumn in phases. It is the third home for the company established in 1970 and which was originally based at Holt, with satellites at Cromer and Aylsham, before moving to a former switchgear factory at Melton. Last year it won a Queen’s Award for International Enterprise for increasing its export sales by more than 250pc over the previous three years.

The relocation has been project-managed by Bidwells and is being built by Pentaco Construction.

Mr Doughty said: “The company’s focus will continue to be on developing long-life products for demanding applications, using sound design, quality and innovation to differentiate itself from its global competition. The various investments in the new manufacturing facility represent a further step along that journey.

“This facility will deliver enhanced quality, service and cost competitiveness to our valued customers across our global markets and a greatly enhanced working environment for our loyal workforce here in North Norfolk.

Mr Doughty said the topping out was “a very big day” for the company.

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