Wakefield independent stone supplier Traditional Stone plans to more than triple its production capacity following a £150,000 investment in new equipment.
A new modern stone cutting primary saw, bought with the help of a £30,000 grant from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) which is supported by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, will also see three new jobs created at the company’s Horbury Bridge site.
Traditional Stone is one of the UK’s largest independent suppliers of new and reclaimed natural stone products.
The company identified an opportunity to expand its new stone and walling provision, following an increase in demand for these products from a recovering construction sector.
The newly installed saw and associated water cooling/recycling equipment cuts stone block to specified sizes required by customers, either in slab form or more usually for further manufacturing into new walling.
The company expects to triple its weekly production level and also introduce new product ranges including stone paving.
Managing director Jonathan Hunter believes the investment marks a turning point for the business.
“We have already leased a quarry at Holmfirth, enabling us to guarantee the quality and quantity of materials available to our customers.
“With the purchase of the new saw, we can now realise the potential of this investment to expand production in line with market demand.
“We are grateful to the LEP for their support; their backing has been very important in helping us to make this change to continue to improve our products and services and to create new job opportunities.”
Roger Marsh, chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership said:
“As the economy continues to improve and the construction sector sees a surge in demand, I am delighted that the LEP is able to support businesses such as Traditional Stone to further this growth.
“This is not just about supporting business growth, but the wider effects this funding will have on Wakefield and the wider city region will also be felt through new jobs and low carbon initiatives.”
Traditional Stone’s environmental performance also benefits, through a reduction in road miles thanks to transportation of raw materials from a closer supply base, and a reduction in the amount of stone wasted through the ability to cut larger blocks.
Any stone not used in production is recycled and used either as hardcore or other materials.