MP visits Colburn paving plant

Kate Helllens, Gavin Cordwell-Smith, Rishi Sunak and Michael Jonas.

Richmond MP Rishi Sunak has visited a Catterick-based manufacturing plant, which specialises in sustainable paving, to learn more about how the facility is expanding following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hellens Group, which has businesses in the construction, manufacturing, property and social housing sectors across the North East, Tees Valley and North Yorkshire welcomed Mr Sunak to the environmentally friendly Oakdale plant.

Hellens Group has been able to accelerate expansion plans, thanks in part to a strong property market.

The facility has seen an increase in demand for building materials due to the March lockdown inspiring people to improve their homes and also due to the stamp duty holiday introduced by the government in the summer.

The firm uses low carbon production processes together with innovative batch designs to meet the need for the paving and building products, particularly within the residential sector.

Oakdale employs 30 people directly and in the 25 years since it was established, it has recruited a number of ex-MOD employees who previously worked at Catterick Garrison.

The MP said: “It was fantastic to visit Oakdale/

“It’s been a really difficult time for the economy over the past several months but it’s marvellous to see evidence of a business like Oakdale that is actually growing and expanding – in investment, in new pieces of kit to increase productivity, to get products out of the doors as fast as they can

“It’s a really positive story and it looks like there are exciting times ahead.”

Gavin Cordwell-Smith, chief executive of Hellens Group, said: “We were delighted to welcome Mr Sunak to Oakdale today to show him how we are planning to expand in the new year.

“Thanks to the stamp duty holiday, we have seen a further increase in demand for paving products produced here and we are excited to continue to grow the plant.”