Growth in home baking leads to new factory for housewares manufacturer

A housewares manufacturer and exporter which has benefited from the growth in homebaking during the coronavirus lockdowns is rising to the challenge further by building a new factory.

By Dominic Collis
Friday, 22nd January 2021, 3:45 pm

Altham-based What More UK, is planning a 200,000 sq. ft factory adjacent to its existing site in Altham as part of a £20m. investment plan.

The proposed building, which is currently awaiting planning permission, will increase the firm's overall floor space by around 40%. Three quarters of the new development will be given over to manufacturing capacity. This will also require a similar increase in staffing levels.

What More UK is one of the largest and most important houseware manufacturers in the UK. It's the organisation behind the popular brand Wham, available in every major UK supermarket and a further 1600 independent retailers.

Site of the proposed new factory

Directors at What More UK see investments of this kind as an ongoing process.

Company director Tony Grimshaw OBE, explained: "At What More we never stay still. We're always trying to keep one step ahead of the competition, and the way to do that is through continual investment in machines, estate, and people."

The new building project is part of a £20m. investment programme including 13 new injection moulding machines, five of which have already arrived at What More's existing factory with a further eight scheduled for delivering in the coming months.

Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham said: "I welcome the news that What More UK is investing in a new factory in Pennine Lancashire, the traditional heartland of British Manufacturing. Companies like What More UK prove that manufacturing is alive and well in the UK, and continuing to offer quality employment in Burnley, Padiham and surrounding areas."

What More UK manufactures storage boxes and housewares of all kinds including bakeware, around-the-sink items, products for the home laundry, utility room, and items for the garden like planters and troughs. What More's products are all made in East Lancashire and are sold in 75 countries around the world.