Steel business hopes to open second factory in industrial hub

How the new Hi-SPAN factory could look if the yard in Wymondham is developed - a plan backed by town mayor Kevin Hurn 

How the new Hi-SPAN factory could look if the business storage yard in Wymondham is developed - a plan backed by town mayor Kevin Hurn - Credit: Hi-SPAN/Sonya Duncan

A steel factory is waiting on the green light to open a second plant in an old storage yard.

Proposals have been put forward by Hi-SPAN to demolish its old buildings on a storage yard off Ayton Road, Wymondham, and replace them with a 1,011sqm factory to expand on its steel production.

How the new Hi-SPAN factory could look off Ayton Road in Wymondham could look if plans to South Norfolk Council are approved

How the new Hi-SPAN factory could look off Ayton Road in Wymondham could look if plans to South Norfolk Council are approved - Credit: Hi-SPAN

If approved by South Norfolk Council, it would be built opposite another Hi-SPAN factory and employ four full-time people.

Wymondham Conservative mayor, Kevin Hurn, said: "I'm pleased Hi-SPAN is doing well.

"It has been an employer in the town for around 60 years. This will give more job opportunities for people in the area, which is great. 

"It will help different elements of the town because people who work there will go into town."

What makes Wymondham work so well? Mayor of Wymondham Kevin Hurn Byline: Sonya Duncan

Wymondham Conservative mayor Kevin Hurn - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The plans also include 32 car parking spaces on the site, which currently has 10 parking spaces, and a portion of these parking spaces will have solar carport canopies and electric vehicle charging points.

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One side of the roof will also feature solar panels.

Mr Hurn praised the green credentials of the proposal, adding: "It ties in nicely with green energy production."

The planning statement said: "Hi-SPAN’s existing structural framing system framing line is extremely old, inefficient and in need of modernisation.

"We do not have the ability to roll our complete range of sections and rely heavily on brake pressed sections to complete orders and at times have to outsource production to complete orders.

"The existing factory does not have the capacity to house a new mill line."

The Hi-SPAN storage yard in Ayton Road, Wymondham, which could be developed into a new Hi-SPAN factory

The Hi-SPAN storage yard in Ayton Road, Wymondham, which could be developed into a new Hi-SPAN factory - Credit: Hi-SPAN

Gareth Graham, Hi-SPAN technical manager, said the current buildings in the yard were "dilapidated".

He added: "We want to redevelop the whole site to encompass the factory and make more space."

The business, which employs 28 people, makes steel products for a range of developments from large hotels and solar technology infrastructure in car parks and fields to individual homes and school building projects.

Mr Graham said the past two years had been a "difficult period" for the business because of price rises and delivery delays but he added: "We are in a good position. Hopefully that will carry on and I'm positive about trade going forward."