‘Brexit reality’ Italian paper manufacturer to open up new UK factory – over 400 jobs

Nigel Farage says 'Brexit means Brexit' as he sips a pint

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The former RAF Sealand site, in Flintshire on the Wales–England border, will be home to a large toilet paper mill of the European company Industrie Cartarie Tronchetti Group (ICT). It will employ more than 400 staff in a move described by the local council as “an endorsement” of the area’s suitability for business.

ICT’s mill, based on a 50-acre site near Garden City, Deeside, will produce paper products such as toilet rolls, kitchen towels and napkins for the UK and Irish markets.

The company announced initial proposals last May and later asked for the public’s views on the move ahead of submitting a planning application in November.

They said the region was ideal “due to its strategic location within Flintshire and for its excellent access to other regional and national locations”.

The firm vowed the project would provide a multi-million-pound boost to the area’s economy, while the Welsh government, as part of a push to move the development forward, provided £5m towards the facility in March last year.

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On the public consultation website launched by ICT, the firm pledged: “Overall, once fully developed, it is estimated the proposed development will generate approximately £2.9m of business rates revenue per annum, with Phase 1 directly accounting for £1.5 million per annum.

“Once in operation, the facility is expected to create 463 direct jobs, which will be available for local people.

“As well as the hundreds of direct jobs created through the paper processing mill, many other jobs will be established in the supply chain.

“Additionally, other employment opportunities will become available during the development and construction of the facility, including 154 jobs and opportunities for training and apprenticeships.”

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Of the move, Twitter user Democracy Movement said: “#Brexitreality.”

Another user, @alisdairdick, wrote: “Despite Brexit, EU countries still want to invest here.”

User @delsbells added: “400 jobs for North Wales.

“Awesome news & yet more proof that #LevellingUp & #BuildingBackBetter aren’t empty words.”

While grandad-of-seven Phil Krater quipped: “Bloody Brexit.”

Flintshire council’s planning committee approved the project on Wednesday, April 30 after members were told the development would deliver major benefits.

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Speaking at the virtual meeting, Cabinet Member for Economic Development Derek Butler said he was glad to see the gateway scheme moving forward.

He said: “It’s very pleasing after the many years we’ve been working on this area and its development.

“It shows that Flintshire is a place where major employers want to come and set up home.

“It’s an endorsement of the people of Flintshire who are adaptable in their skills base.

“It also gives a further opportunity and a confidence boost to the economy of Flintshire.”

Councillor Christine Jones said some concerns had been raised in the community about the risk of flooding and the impact of the plans on the area’s road network.

She asked for assurances over air quality monitoring, though said most of the issues had been tackled and no objections were received ahead of the meeting.

Councillor Chris Bithell, Cabinet Member for Planning, said: “I think our concerns have been allayed and we welcome this particular development, bringing 400 full time jobs to the area.

“It will help us to achieve a major objective in the development of this mixed strategic site in Flintshire at the Northern Gateway.”

The proposals were unanimously backed by committee members at the end of the discussion.

ICT previously indicated construction work on the new facility would begin this year if the application was approved and was due to take place in three phases.

The third phase, they said, will only happen if market demand requires an expansion of the mill.

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