THE huge expansion of an internationally-owned speciality processing plant has been completed, with a family-orientated South Bank celebration to mark the occasion, and a promise of more jobs to come.
New Holland Extraction's 2,500 square metre office, storage, welfare and processing unit was delivered by northern Lincolnshire project manager CH Parrott Consultants and Cube3 Construction, finished in trademark Dutch orange.
The £1.74-million project was commissioned by the two-brother team behind Dutch global producer De Wit Speciality Oils, and Joost and GertJan, asked their mother, Ria de Wit, to declare it open. She was aided by a third generation as her grandchildren passed the ceremonial scissors to cut the ribbon.
The company has brought to market a new ingredient that is helping enhance bread and cereal products, while continuing to extract niche oils from seeds including borage, evening primrose, blackcurrant, echium, hemp and rosehip.
A recipient of £230,000 of Regional Growth Fund grant-aid from North Lincolnshire Council's economy-boosting war chest, leader Cllr Liz Redfern was there to celebrate, together with Marcus Walker, assistant director of regeneration, and Humber Local Enterprise partnership chief executive Kishor Tailor.
GertJan explained how the original New Holland plant came to be owned by De Wit, initially in a joint venture with German firm Kroppenstedt, having been acquired out of receivership due to the food-grade standards it boasted, just over a decade ago.
"We made a plant to fix the problem and improve the process," he said, referring to the previous owners' failure, adding "we kept the name very simple!".
"We have had our ups and downs, but the future looks bright ... we have much confidence in the factory and also, of course, in the staff. We look forward to growing the business in the years to come.
"I would like to thank North Lincolnshire Council for the support to make this project possible, and CR Parrott and Cube3 for doing a very good job. Co-operation was fantastic and this is just marvellous. We have plans for further jobs to be created in the future."
Additional works will also see solar panels installed on the huge roof above farmland that was flooded by the tidal surge that hit the Humber back in December, just weeks after Joost had climbed into a mini-excavator and cut the first sod on the development, as reported.
Chris Parrott, whose eponymous firm has offices in Scunthorpe and Grimsby, spoke of his "immense pride" in the completion of a "fantastic project". Outlining how discussions were held in March 2007, but that market uncertainty – no doubt as a direct result of the recession – saw expansion ideas initially put on hold, he said: "Development of New Holland Extraction Ltd and confidence in their new market areas proved that with determination, foresight and good management that anything is impossible, and here we are today.
"This project has taken effectively one year to transform an area of land designated for industrial usage into an actual production unit facility, creating jobs now and in the future. The project has overcome initial flooding to the site in the early stages of the programme, however from our view as project managers, we take the opportunity of thanking both the contractor and their team, together with the client's team also.
"This really has been a well-managed project throughout, with a great team spirit to overcome any problems as they arose – a real success story."
David Coombe, director at North Killingholme-based Cube 3, was also at the ceremony. He said: "We are pleased to hand over another successfully completed project to New Holland Extraction and have again enjoyed a brilliant working relationship with the team there and at CR Parrott. Despite the challenges brought about by the tidal surge last December which saw the site flooded, we have completed this fantastic project on programme and to financial budgets. Everyone at Cube 3 is very proud of the quality of the work we have achieved."
As reported, the contraction in jobs at the Tata steelworks in Scunthorpe saw a £10-million funding pot applied for and won by North Lincolnshire Council, a pot that has now been spent up. Mrs Redfern said: "It is really important that we are here to help create new business, help businesses expand to create the wealth and job opportunities that we want to see here in North Lincolnshire.
"We have given £10-million of Regional Growth Fund money, we have spent it, and we have created 733 new jobs. It is a pretty good track record and I am very proud of that, very proud of the staff in the regeneration team, who are on a roll. I know New Holland Extraction has added another four jobs already and I am delighted to be here, and delighted to hear of more jobs coming."
Mr Tailor spoke of the importance of agri-food excellence, ensuring raw materials are there to further boost the region's food credentials, as well as the vitality to the economy small-scale job creation on a large scale brings.
Addressing the de Wit family, he said: "I am really pleased with the contribution that has been made here, we want more inward investment to come to our patch. Hopefully you can use your contacts in Holland to bring more to this country."