New factory in Brandon will create jobs and secure services

DONE DEAL: Austin Cornish of Bury Developments, Omar chairman Paul Pleszko, Cllr James Waters, Cllr Stephen Edwards and Omar Group Chief Executive Dean Westmoreland
DONE DEAL: Austin Cornish of Bury Developments, Omar chairman Paul Pleszko, Cllr James Waters, Cllr Stephen Edwards and Omar Group Chief Executive Dean Westmoreland

Work has started on a new factory in Brandon which is expected to create up to 80 new jobs and will help fund council services.

Omar Group – which featured in the 2016 London Stock Exchange Group’s 1,000 companies to Inspire Britain report – is working with Forest Heath District Council to expand its London Road site.

The council protected 130 jobs when it acquired Omar’s headquarters four years ago, but Omar – now one of the UK’s fastest growing SMEs – has increased its workforce to 355 full time staff since then.

In September, Forest Heath agreed to invest up to £537,500 in an expansion project, with Omar paying the remaining 50 percent of the projected cost of the new factory unit.

The deal, which has now been signed, will see Omar extend its lease with the council for a further 15 years while its annual rent will also increase to cover a return on the council’s investment in the site.

Forest Heath says the rent increase ‘will provide a steady rate of income to help support the delivery of key everyday services at a time when the council’s main source of Government funding is being phased out’.

If Omar chooses to vacate the site at the end of its lease, the site and the new buildings will remain in full ownership of the council.

Dean Westmoreland, chief executive of Omar Group, said: “Our strong working relationship with the council will continue to benefit not just the business, but the local employment market and the interests of the Forest Heath taxpayers.

“Our new final finish building will increase our capacity by over 50 per cent and will deliver genuine quality and efficiency improvements to our business, as well as safeguarding our future at the heart of Brandon.”

Cllr Stephen Edwards, Forest Heath’s cabinet member for resources and performance said: “This makes perfect business sense on behalf of our taxpayers.

“We are aiding economic growth, ensuring that a successful local company is able to commit its future to Brandon and securing and creating further employment. We are also gaining an increased level of income which we will use to help support the future costs of services to our local communities. Everyone wins.”

Cllr James Waters, leader of Forest Heath, said: “The expansion of our commercial property portfolio has been our aspiration since we acquired the site and we are proud to be able to continue to support Omar in its commitment to job growth in Brandon.”