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pounds 22m cash injection for paper mill.

A north mill is to become the biggest paper tissue manufacturer in the UK after a pounds 22m investment.

The future of Prudhoe Mill has been secured by a multi-million-pound cash injection from Swedish parent company SCA and up to 40 new jobs are to be created.

The mill will now be able to produce more than 100,000 tonnes of kitchen roll, sanitary towels and toilet paper each year ( making the plant the largest of its kind in the country.

This is a dramatic turnaround for a company that had seen its workforce cut from 1,100 to around 300 in the last decade, but yesterday's announcement seems set to mark the end of three years of cost-cutting and redundancies. Prudhoe Mill site manager Andy Woodburn said: "It is marvellous news and seals the blueprint for manufacturing at our Prudhoe site for the foreseeable future.

"Updating processing equipment and training staff with technical skills means Prudhoe Mill has turned a corner and we can look forward to a brighter future."

Last night the leader of Northumberland County Council spoke of his delight at the positive effects the investment would have on Prudhoe Mill and the surrounding area.

Coun Michael Davey said: "We are delighted to have been able to help SCA on the path to a positive future and new investment and new jobs is good news for Northumberland."

Tynedale Council's head of economic and community development Andy Dean added: "SCA is a critical employer for east Tynedale and we are very pleased to see their continued enthusiasm for the district as a location to do business."

Hexham's MP Peter Atkinson said: "It is a hugely important employer directly and indirectly so this investment is very good news for the area."

SCA Hygiene Products bought the Prudhoe factory from Kimberly-Clark in 1996.
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Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 2, 2004
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