Fresh investment in Derbyshire

An aluminium extrusion press ordered by Garner Aluminium Extrusions, trading as Garnalex, made its way down the M1 motorway with a police escort recently.

The route for the specialised heavy haulage took the machinery via Ripley to its new temporary home at The Firs Works in Heage, travelling past the historic Heage Windmill.

The total investment in Garnalex is £9 million to date, including the delivery of the aluminium press, and is planned to increase further over the summer. The main body of the machine weighs 170 tons, and the machine is so large it has to be assembled on site by technicians from the manufacturer’s facility in Germany.

Trading at Garnalex will start when the equipment is commissioned during August.

Garnalex was formed by Roger Hartshorn, who was with HL Plastics for over 42 years. He was one of the founders of Eurocell, before going on to develop the Liniar window system.

Roger has retained his links with both companies and intends to further develop this relationship by supplying aluminium extrusions to them, and others.

Garnalex already employs five full time directors to lay the foundations and controls for this venture. There will be further recruitment over the summer as the equipment approaches completion.

“Garnalex is a really exciting new business and this initial investment is just the start of the journey,” Roger said. “The aluminium extrusion service will initially supply local companies and then eventually branch out into our own range of products. In 2018 the UK consumed 190,000 tons of aluminium extrusions, but only 110,000 tons of this was produced in the UK.

“The huge benefit we will have is speed of response to supply customers from a UK source from the highest quality with latest technology SMS low energy plant, into an industry and a customer base that we have supplied for over 30 years.

“In line with my continued philosophy, we have exciting plans for further investment in premises, equipment and plant to further develop the new business.”

Garner Holdings has developed the majority of the Denby Hall Business Park over the last 12 years, building 10 industrial premises totalling 56,000m² and employing 700 people.

Garner Holdings is in the process of applying to the local authority to develop a second phase of the estate to supply an additional 19ha of purpose-built industrial units, in a bid to meet the demand from local companies that wish to expand. The application proposes to build new bespoke facilities for HL Plastics, Manthorpe Engineering, Garnalex and LB Plastics.