GUEST BLOG: ACO COMPLETES £13M MANUFACTURING SITE EXPANSION
ACO Technologies plc has completed the first phase of the ambitious redevelopment of its UK manufacturing facilities. The £13m site expansion was officially opened by Susan Lousada, His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Lord Deben, Chairman of the UK’s Independent Committee on Climate Change, and renowned architect Michael Pawlyn, in a ceremony on 28 September.
The completion of the first phase will see ACO significantly increase the number of products it can hold on-site, allowing it to respond to customer needs more efficiently. This is thanks to a new 141,000 sq ft warehouse and yard. The expansion also means ACO is reducing its need for third-party storage and transportation of its products, helping it to reduce carbon emissions and become more sustainable.
Pivotal to the entire site development was the protection of habitats and enhancement of biodiversity. In addition to caring for the surrounding water by diverting the nearby stream, ACO has transformed the former farmland into an area where biodiversity can flourish. This has been achieved through planting over 10,000 trees and shrubs, which will introduce new wildlife to the area, as well as pollinator-friendly plants. ACO Bat Boxes and Nest Boxes have also been installed throughout the development, providing shelter for bats and small birds, including blue tits.
Habitat-first development sees former farmland transformed into area for wildlife to flourish
In addition to Susan Lousada and Lord Deben, renowned architect Michael Pawlyn, who specialises in nature-based solutions and regeneration also supported the launch of the site, where he delivered a keynote address. Michael’s experience aligns with ACO’s commitment to help create a built environment that can harmonise with nature by providing sustainable solutions for effective surface water management.
Mike Simpson Lane, Group Managing Director at ACO Technologies plc, said: “When we started work on our site development, it was important that it wasn’t just a commercial development. Instead, we wanted to ensure it was a habitat sensitive site, which cares for the surrounding environment and water, and meets our Habitat Matters philosophy.
“As a business, we have shown that businesses can expand their facilities and make a positive impact on the surrounding environment, but this is just the beginning. We will be taking the learnings from our own development and use them to help inform developers, architects and planners on how they can achieve similar results for future works.”
New 141,000 sq ft warehouse and yard introduced
A fifth production line to its existing manufacturing facility has also been introduced, which will significantly increase ACO’s capacity to meet rising demand for its leading drainage and water management products. Crucially, the new line will also aid the company’s continued commitment to innovate new products in line with the needs of planning authorities, and allows ACO to respond to the effects of climate change in relation to water management.
Mike Simpson Lane added: “While we’re only three years in, this decade has already shown us that we need to prepare for the unexpected. Supply issues have dominated the construction industry and, as a UK manufacturer, we understand the importance of being ready to deliver for our customers. Not only this, but it is a necessity to continually bring innovative water management solutions to market, especially with the global water scarcity crisis looming pushing everyone to reuse and care for water better.
“Our site development will allow us to respond to the needs of customers, both now and in the future. Not only will it ensure our existing line of products are being manufactured to meet demand, but it will also provide a more advanced platform to ensure we are developing new products that meet future needs. As climate change continues to show its impact, this is integral, and we are now in the perfect position to respond.”
For more information about ACO Technologies plc, please visit www.aco.co.uk.