Firm expands into new �2.5m factory

The manufacturing industry in south Norfolk was given a boost yesterday with the official opening a new �2.5m factory by engineering firm Multi Fab Ltd.

The new building at Bunn's Bank, near Attleborough, will supplement the company's existing facility in Mildenhall - giving the firm an additional 50pc factory and office space.

Multi Fab provides a sheet metal fabrication service to the aluminium window, door and curtain walling industry as well as the retail shopfitting market and a 25 year guaranteed powder coating service.

Recent high profile clients have been the London School of Economics, Wallbrook Wharf and St Bartholomew's Hospital, all in London.

It was formed 10 years ago to work alongside its sister company English Architectural Glazing, also based in Mildenhall, which creates facades for commercial and residential buildings.

The firm, which generates a turnover of just over �2m, decided to invest in new premises after struggling to take on more orders at its Mildenhall base due to lack of space.

Directors were looking for a new area in the region with a skilled workforce, and with its plans for housing expansion and its links with the A11, Attleborough was seen as a prime location.

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Simon Gladwin, managing director of Multi Fab, said: 'We have made a significant investment into our expansion and move to Attleborough. It's a step in the right direction with top quality production and engineering facilities.

'We have between �12m and �13m worth of work on our books for the next two years and we are equipped to expand further into new markets, particularly photovoltaic panels for renewable energy.'

So far about 15 people have been employed at the new factory with an additional 10 expected to be recruited - taking the company's overall current employment tally to about 60.

The Attleborough factory, which boasts 22,000 sqft of production area and 4,000 sqft of office space, will concentrate on sheet metal fabrication, while the Mildenhall arm will specialise in window, door and curtain walling production.

To increase the production efficiency, the company has also invested more than �100,000 in a new pre treatment machine on the powder coating line which is the only machine in the world to combine nine stages of treatment in one, allowing the coating of any size of sheet metal from small components to car bodies.

This month Multi Fab has also gained an accreditation to register as an installer of photovoltaic energy panels - a new sector the company aims to move into. Its next plan is to build on a vacant parcel of land, adjacent to the Attleborough site and in the company's ownership, which would house the operation.

Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman, who performed the opening ceremony, said Multi Fab's expansion into the county showed its potential to attract more successful businesses.

'I think this is a very exciting day for Norfolk. Multi Fab is a world class, high growth business and in choosing Attleborough as its location, it is placing a huge vote of confidence in Norfolk's economy and our local workforce,' he said.