Henry vacuum cleaner firm in Chard job boost plan

Street view of the factory Numatic in Chard Image copyright Google Maps
Image caption Numatic has had a presence in Chard since the 1980s

A business best known for its Henry vacuum cleaners has revealed expansion plans that could create 300 new jobs.

Numatic International hopes to expand its 50,000sq m factory in Chard, Somerset, by a third.

It wants to create seven buildings to house laboratories, workshops, offices and warehouse space.

The company has stated it hopes to increase its turnover by 30% in the next five years.

Mayor of Chard Gary Shortland said: "Numatic's beauty is that they are an international firm, they do not just reply on the European market, and it's fantastic news for Chard."

The same site was previously turned down for housing, and Mr Shortland explained this was because it was so close to the factory.

He said: "The housing that was turned down was on the manufacturing side of Numatic and it would not have been an ideal place to live.

"We do need to make sure we put safeguards in for the houses which back on to the manufacturing side, so they are not adversely affected."

Although the application includes eight buildings, only three would be built in the first phase of development.

The company bought a 12-acre site in Chard in 1989. By the end of 2017 it owned 26 acres, and land purchases for Numatic's latest expansion mean it now has 34 acres.

Currently, the factory has close to 1,000 permanent staff and more than 100 agency staff.

A Numatic spokesperson said: "Our target is to achieve a £200m turnover, a 30% increase, in the next five years.

"To achieve the target growth, we will need extra buildings and an estimated 200-300 jobs will be created."

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