Brandon firm’s £1m expansion will create up to 100 jobs

The Omar Park Homes Ltd Factory in London Road, Brandon. ANL-150917-093541001
The Omar Park Homes Ltd Factory in London Road, Brandon. ANL-150917-093541001
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Up to 100 more jobs are set to be created in Brandon after councillors agreed to invest more than £500,000 in the expansion of a local firm.

Omar Park Homes Ltd had been in talks with Forest Heath District Council about a £1.075 million project to expand its London Road site.

The council purchased the site in 2012 to support Omar and protect 130 jobs after the previous business went into administration. The firm, which achieved a 49 per cent sales growth last year, now employs 330 full time staff.

At a full council meeting on Wednesday councillors voted to invest £537,000 - 50 per cent of the total expansion costs - in the project and secured an extended 15 year lease to Omar, which has offered pay the remaining costs.

The ambitious changes could create around 100 more full time jobs and see sales increase from £33 million to £50 million over the next three years.

Dean Westmoreland, group chief executive of Omar Group, said: “We wanted to demonstrate our commitment to Brandon and to Forest Heath for standing by us and for seeing our potential to grow.

“This is why we offered to pay half of the cost towards the expansion, despite only being tenants on the site.

“The factory expansion will take production and therefore sales to the next level, ensuring we are able to maximise our order book and provide further full time employment opportunities in Brandon.

“Part of this employment growth has seen us take on ten young apprentices this summer, further confirmation our commitment to Brandon.”

James Waters, leader of Forest Heath District Council, said: “This just makes good business sense for everybody involved.

“Omar is a successful growing company who want to expand and to pledge their future to Brandon. They have come a long way in the last six years.

“Our investment alongside Omar’s own investment will enable that growth potential to be realised.”

A report prepared for Forest Heath’s full council said the Omar Group, which produces Wessex units, felt the current buiding was ‘limiting their production’, with its three year plan detailing expansion in the town ‘for early 2016’.

With a £200,000 annual rent on the site, the district council will to recover its investment in four years. Should Omar choose to vacate the premises at the end of the lease, the site and new buildings will remain in the council’s ownership.