Through a visit to a manufacturing site, Loughborough MP Nicky Morgan has discovered how workers in her constituency are making a huge contribution to UK housebuilding.
Nicky visited British Gypsum’s mine and production plant at Barrow-upon-Soar on Friday 18 January. The plant, the largest and most technically advanced plaster production site of its kind in Europe, is the principal supplier of bagged plaster in the UK. It makes around 440,000 bags of plaster each week, enough for 29,000 homes.
Nicky's visit began with a trip underground to see where plaster’s main ingredient, gypsum, is mined. She met the mining team and then went on to visit the production plant which manufactures hundreds of thousands of tonnes of plaster a year.
The site is a significant employer in the Loughborough constituency, with over 140 staff, many of whom are local. It also makes a significant contribution to the local economy through rates and using over 100 local businesses for contract work. In 2017/2018 over £10 million was invested in new mine equipment and site infrastructure, securing not only jobs in the mine, but also in the production plant supplied by the mine.
Commenting on her visit Nicky said: “British Gypsum is a very important company in the Loughborough constituency. It’s an employer providing high quality jobs to local people, and one that meets a critical need for our whole community.
“It is easy to take for granted the vitally important impact that the aggregates industry has on our everyday lives – for example, without businesses like British Gypsum, and the products they make, we would not have the homes that we do. So, it has been a pleasure to visit and find out more.”
British Gypsum Managing Director, Matt Pullen, who hosted the visit along with the local site team and UK Operations Director, Olivier Bluche, said: “Barrow is a key site, not only in our own business network, but also in supplying and supporting UK construction. Many people will not be aware that the plaster on their walls started with our team here mining gypsum underground. So, it was a real pleasure to be able to showcase our operation to the MP.
“She enjoyed chatting to the operational team, many of whom are her constituents, and she was particularly interested to find out more about our proposed plans for the future, including some improvements in the efficiency of our transport operation. We aim to build on this visit and develop a strong working partnership with Ms Morgan as a key business and community stakeholder.”