Ibstock Brick, the UK’s largest brick manufacturer, hosted a visit from the Uzbekistan Ambassador to Great Britain and Northern Ireland last week (Friday 6 October).
Accompanied by the MP for North West Leicestershire Andrew Bridgen, the visit came as the company invests £50 million in its new factory at its Leicestershire headquarters. The tour was organised following His Excellency Ambassador Alisher Shaykhov’s meeting with Mr Bridgen last month when the MP described the Ibstock Brick plant ‘as the UK’s most technologically advanced brick production facility.’
Uzbekistan is rapidly developing its construction business and has looked to the UK as a leading example, with the Ambassador keen to obtain knowledge of the sector and discuss opportunities for business co-operation in the future.
Andrew Craddock, Production Director at Ibstock Brick, commented: “We were delighted to welcome our local MP Andrew Bridgen and His Excellency Ambassador Shaykhov to show them round our new manufacturing facility. Brick continues to be the construction material of choice, with the latest government statistics1 showing an increase in sales, and being able to increase production with our new facility will help us meet this growing demand from the construction sector. With construction projects also increasing in Uzbekistan it was an opportunity for His Excellency Ambassador Shaykhov to see the latest technology and machinery and see how this could work in their own country.”
Andrew Bridgen, MP for North West Leicestershire, commented: “I would like to thank Ibstock Brick for taking the time to show Ambassador Shaykhov and myself the huge investment at the Ibstock site. The new facility when open will be one of the most efficient brick plants in the world and this investment demonstrates the confidence in the construction industry, in the UK economy and in North West Leicestershire.”
His Excellency Ambassador Alisher Shaykhov, Uzbekistan Ambassador to Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commented: “Uzbekistan always considers the United Kingdom as one of the developed countries of the world with enormous political, economic, technological and intellectual potential, playing a leading role in global affairs. I was immensely impressed with how the manufacturing process, safety regulations, team performance, care for its staff, as well as respect to the environment and local community had been conducted.”
Once at full capacity, Ibstock Brick’s soft mud brick manufacturing plant will increase production by up to 100 million bricks a year – a 13% increase. Commissioning of the plant will start in the final quarter of this year.
1 National Statistics; Building materials and components statistics: September 2017.