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Wren Kitchens to create 1,200 new jobs

Aerial view of factory Image copyright Wren Kitchens
Image caption The new factory will be built at the firm's existing site at Barton-upon-Humber

A kitchen company says it plans to create up to 1,200 new jobs as part of a £120m expansion.

Wren Kitchens is planning to build a new factory at its headquarters in Barton-upon-Humber, North Lincolnshire.

The firm currently employs 1,500 people at the site, with another 1,000 workers in nearby Hull, Howden and Scunthorpe.

Managing director Mark Pullan said the new factory would be "the largest single investment" in the company's history.

"The new factory demonstrates our commitment to manufacturing in the UK and particularly the Humber Region," said Mr Pullan.

"We believe that continual re-investment in our business is essential to maintaining our current growth rate and subject to receiving planning approval, the project will be funded internally."

The company, established in 2009, supplies kitchens direct to the public via a chain of 78 showrooms.

Image caption The company employs 1,500 staff at its North Lincolnshire headquarters

Matt Walton, a retail analyst at GlobalData, said the company's success in the industry was the result of "a very aggressive marketing approach within its stores".

"Wren's been one of retail's big success stories over the last five years - sales going from just over £200m in 2014 to just under £500m in 2018 - on the back of quite rapid expansion opening 26 stores across the country," he said.

"It's currently the market leader within kitchens, overtaking B&Q a couple of years ago, so it has the potential to keep going."

David Cooper from Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce said: "It's clearly a massive vote of confidence for the area and will bring some much needed jobs to North Lincolnshire at a time when some people will be worried about their future with other companies."

He said some businesses were "delaying investment decisions during this period of economic uncertainty".

Last month Scunthorpe-based British Steel was placed into compulsory liquidation, putting 5,000 jobs at risk and endangering 20,000 in the supply chain.

It followed a breakdown in rescue talks between the government and the company's owner, Greybull Capital.

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Wren Kitchens said it expected to submit a planning application for the new 910,000 sq ft (85,000 sq m) factory soon.

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