Plans were unveiled last week for the refurbishment and expansion of the former Comet building on the West Wilts Trading Estate, by Europe’s largest manufacturer of paper bags.
Following purchase of the industrial estate site at No. 1 Quartermaster Road in October, Welton Bibby & Baron are now finalising plans to transfer their existing operation to Westbury from Midsomer Norton, and hope to start manufacturing at the new site in mid 2012.
Their proposals involve the extension of the storage capacity of the existing building within the current boundaries of the site. The site was last used by Comet for storage and distribution over two years ago.
Managing Director of Welton Bibby Baron (WBB), Malcolm Ross confirmed, “WBB are pleased to announce their proposals which will deliver significant improvements to the site and the wider trading estate. Significant capital investment is being made in the refurbishment of the main building which everyone is keen to see. Further jobs will also be created.”
The emerging plans were discussed at a meeting last week of Heywood Parish Council. Parish council members welcomed the opportunity to hear about the emerging proposals in advance of a formal planning application later this year. A similar briefing meeting is planned with Westbury Town Council later this month.
Planning consultants WPB are co-ordinating the submission of the planning application and related supporting material. Speaking at last week’s meeting, Nigel Whitehead from WPB said, ‘“Following the refinement of the expansion plans, full details of the draft proposals and the associated public consultation meeting planned in early December will be available through Heywood Parish Council. In this way we aim to ensure that local residents and other interested parties have the opportunity to comment on the proposals.”
Welton, Bibby, & Baron currently employ 300 people and supply well over a billion paper bags every year to customers all over the world. Products include retail and point-of sale bags, heat sealed and protective bags, fast food and take-away bags, pharmacy bags, bread bags, and pet food bags. Their customers include John Lewis, Marks & Spencers, PG Tips and Typhoo.