Rural expansion to create new jobs at hi-tech firm

Expanding: David Garity and another machine for export
Expanding: David Garity and another machine for export
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ONE of Calderdale’s most goahead companies has been given planning permission to build two huge workshops in the countryside at a cost of more than £3 million.

The unusual move will enable Heights (UK) Ltd to create up to 40 skilled jobs at Wainstalls, Halifax.

“We have survived the various economic problems without any restructuring or redundancies and we are now set to make a quantum leap with our business,” said company chairman Gary Jones.

In recent years, Heights has become a global company with 60 distributors worldwide for its high-tech printing equipment.

It also manufactures innovative, highly-efficient self-contained electric heating units.

In 2004, Heights sought approval to convert part of its Wainstalls factory into housing to help pay for a move to the Lowfields business park, Elland.

But the scheme was turned down so Heights was forced to stay put in the former textile mill, which was used for many years as a packing and storage depot by the Rowntree Mackintosh confectionary firm.

“We currently employ about 90 skilled workers and we have many suppliers in Calderdale and elsewhere which rely on us for business,” said Mr Jones.

“But we need two new production units in close proximity to our current operation to house the new flexographic equipment business and support further expansion of our heating business.”

Mr Jones said it would be impracticable to move to another site because of the costs involved.

“But we can raise the money required to carry out the proposed development based on our existing business projections,” he said.

Work on the first workshop is due to begin later this year and will provide space for both the reprographics and heating business, said group managing director David Garrity.

“We are very excited about this opportunity to produce a range of new equipment which we don’t have the space for at the moment,” he said.

The high-tech workshops will go on land originally earmarked for an extension when the premises were used for textile production.

They have been very carefully designed to blend in with the landscape and will incorporate a new road which will avoid the need for staff and delivery vehicles having to drive past Wainstalls Primary School.