Camplings Linen unveils £5million facility in Great Yarmouth
Camplings Linen unveiled a new £5 million commercial laundry in Great Yarmouth today, becoming one of the most technically advanced and environmentally friendly laundry facilities in the UK. The business provides linen hire and laundry services to a large proportion of the region’s tourism businesses, currently employs more than 125 people and due to the new site opening, will create at least ten new jobs.
Camplings, which offers linen hire and laundry services to hotels, restaurants and other businesses, has transformed a warehouse into one of the country’s most sophisticated laundries. Increasing capacity by 25 per cent the business is now capable of processing 500,000 items, such as napkins, towels and table cloths, per week. In 2016, the independent family-owned business recorded a turnover of £6.14m, up 11% on the previous year.
Laundries are inherently big users of water and energy. Camplings has taken big steps to invest in new, innovative ways to minimise the company’s impact on the wider environment. Drawing water from an on-site borehole, and recycling wherever possible, water consumption is expected to reduce by around 40% compared to the former site. Excess heat is also utilised, reducing total energy consumption by 30%.
A ‘cool chemistry’ system has also been adopted: a patented formula blending a cocktail of highly effective detergents which are cooled before being injected into the wash; will achieve consistently bright results, while washing at lower temperatures.
Investment has also been ploughed into the latest technology to increase efficiency. A new ‘sky-track’ system, featuring 250 laundry bags now travels around the roof of the warehouse, automatically taking each piece of linen from the wash to the final press, reducing the need for manual handling.
As an essential service provider to the hospitality, leisure and the tourism sectors in the east of England, Camplings’ factory launch comes just 10 days after local tourism bosses reported record bookings for January; spurring optimistic predictions of a bumper season. See that report here.
Richard Turvill, managing director of Camplings Linen said: “Three years in development and with an investment in excess of £5 million, we’re proud to unveil one of the most innovative, environmentally responsible and technically advanced facilities in the UK, and stake out our ambitions to become the most productive, quality laundry in Europe.
“No doubt, 2016 was unsettling for business owners and the next 12 months carry uncertainty as the UK pursues Brexit negotiations; but we feel optimistic and confident that we, and the sectors we serve, have good times ahead.
“The year’s got off to a great start for local tourism, with year on year bookings for December and January soaring. Add to that a weak pound and nervousness around certain overseas destinations and we could see the trend for ‘staycations’ rise again this year. It all points to a strong year for our hospitality, tourism and leisure customers, and if they’re busy, so are we. After completing the transition, we’re now fully operational at our larger, more efficient laundry and have never been in a better place to take on new contracts or larger orders from existing clients.”
At Tuesday’s launch, the directors were joined by two of Norfolk’s best-known chefs. Roger Hickman and Richard Hughes - representing the very best of the area’s fine dining scene - took time out from the heat of the kitchen for a factory tour, seeing first-hand the latest laundry techniques.
Richard Hughes said: “Pristine, white, neatly pressed linens set the tone for a restaurant. Our customers expect only the very best eating-out experience, and it’s the whole package around delicious, inventive food that helps us to create that special feeling. With this serious investment, Camplings has shown commitment to delivering the very best service to us and all their customers, for the long-term. It’s been fascinating to steal a look behind-the-scenes today.”
MP for Great Yarmouth, Brandon Lewis, also welcomed news of the factory launch and said: “I am delighted that Camplings Linen are officially launching a new laundry facility in Great Yarmouth. It’s great to see this sort of investment in our local area and is a welcome boost to local jobs and growth. Of course, the laundry trade play an essential role in the vital tourist sector and so it’s great to see one of the most innovative and productive companies in the field set up its new laundry here. Camplings has a long association with the local area, and this investment demonstrates real commitment to the town for the long-term.”
All 120 staff, some who have worked for Camplings for 40 years or more, have transferred to the new factory, safeguarding jobs for the future. While a £150,000 grant from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership will fund the creation of 10 new jobs for local people.
Chris Starkie, Managing Director of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We’re pleased to see this new laundry being officially opened. This is exactly the kind of project which our Growing Business Fund is there to support – the grant has helped Camplings to build a new facility, which will allow them to become more efficient and competitive and generate additional jobs.”
TSA's Chief Executive, Philip Wright, and Head of Membership & Communications, Gillian Farrar, attended the opening. Dr Wright commented: “This is a fantastic investment for Camplings that will bring real benefit in terms of service for their customers, but also it will significantly reduce their energy and water use. Our members have made big strides in reducing their carbon footprint, as is demonstrated by the industry reducing energy use by 20% within 3 years under our Climate Change Agreement.”