The major investment promises to transform the facility into both the largest and most efficient brick factory in Europe, whilst increasing the company's overall production capacity and consolidating our role in the future of UK house-building.

With a current output of 85 million bricks per year, the Desford plant’s production capacity is set to double in the next three years as a result of the investment to 180 million bricks annually – enough to build 24,000 average-sized family homes. On a company-wide scale, this will increase Forterra's overall brick production capacity by 16%.

This twofold increase in output will be achieved via the construction of a new, modern facility with state-of-the-art automated processes that will minimise the plant’s environmental impact. The new premises will be built alongside the current factory, ensuring that the latter remains operational in order to maintain production during the changeover.

Situated just two miles from the M1 with excellent transport links, the modernised Desford site will offer a range of red and buff bricks designed to meet the demands of housebuilders.

Production is expected to commence in 2022, by which time the company's production capacity is projected to approach 700 million bricks per annum.

“As one of Britain’s biggest manufacturers of building products, we endeavour to set the benchmark in terms of manufacturing efficiency, output and sustainability," said Stephen Harrison, Forterra chief executive. “In keeping with our strategic focus on manufacturing excellence, our new facility’s modern manufacturing methods will allow us to respond to our customers’ increasing demand for products as the rate of house-building continues to accelerate nationwide.

“We have every confidence that this project marks a sound, long-term investment in the future of both Forterra and UK house-building.”