HRH The Princess Royal to officially open new-built state-of-the-art Berendsen textile service operations plant in Durham
On Friday 13th January, Berendsen celebrated the official opening of its new-built state-of-the-art textile service operations plant in Meadowfield, Durham. This was conducted by HRH The Princess Royal and the ceremony was attended by the Berendsen Workwear Managing Director Peter Haveus and the Berendsen UK Country Manager, Mark Franklin, local plant management and staff as well as a number of specially invited customers and business partners including TSA Chief Executive, Philip Wright.
The new-built plant will handle protective wear and hygiene garments as well as mats and roller towels. It utilises state-of-the-art RFID chip technology and advanced machinery to ensure high efficiency, capacity and flexibility as well as reduced energy consumption.
The new Berendsen plant in Durham will deliver 17,000 garments to customers daily, requiring 250 tonnes of garments to be washed per month. In total, 168 staff will be employed in the service, production and distribution teams. The factory serves the North East of England from Berwick upon Tweed on the Scottish borders to Hull in North Yorkshire and East to West coast. Typical customers include: Nestle, Cranswick, and NMUK.
The new-built plant in Meadowfield, Durham replaces the previous Berendsen plant in Neville’s Cross in Durham, which origins trace back to the construction of a domestic laundry at the Neville’s Cross location on the outskirts of Durham City in 1913. Over the years the service provided has developed and specialised around the provision of protective wear and hygiene garments.
The factory has traditionally operated single daytime shifts with limited weekend working; and has enjoyed the benefit of a large number of long service staff across all departments. With the new plant setting, Berendsen has the opportunity to expand production to two-shift production, meeting the rising demands from customers.
In connection with the official opening on Friday 13th January, The Princess Royal met the Berendsen’ s senior leadership team before being escorted on a tour around the new operational plant to meet the factory team and learn how the site contributes to meeting customer needs for high standards of employee protection and how the site process garments through any stages of the process.
During her tour, HRH spoke to operatives about the specialist knowledge and skills they have developed that underpin the high level of service standards and cost efficiency offered to customers.
The tour covered the CL 2000 production lines processing protective workwear for key local industrial customers, the Hycare line specialising in food garments and ancillary plant that turns around mats and roller towels.
The Royal visit culminated in the unveiling of a commemorative plaque celebrating the official opening of the state-of-the-art textile facility at Durham.
Berendsen's UK Country Manager, Workwear, Mark Franklin said: “We were honoured that HRH The Princess Royal visited us to officially open this state-of-the-art operating facility and launch a new era of service delivery to the local industry.
“This fantastic development has been enabled through the seamless movement of a long tradition of textile services from Neville’s Cross in Durham to the new site in Meadowfield’s ensuring ongoing employment of dedicated staff in a brand new factory that we can all be proud of.