Sourced from The Wiltshire Times - follow link to original article
FURNITURE manufacturer Herman Miller has unveiled its multimillion pound manufacturing and logistics facility in Melksham, giving the company scope for future expansion.
The 170,000sqft development has combined the company’s manufacturing and logistics hub in Bath and its Chippenham research and development centre into one state-of-the-art building on the Bowerhill industrial estate.
The company, which specialises in office furniture, equipment and home furnishings, spent £14m on the new venture, which is anticipated to add to the year-on-year increase in sales and production levels of the US-owned business.
Richard Scott, vice president of international relations at Herman Miller, said: “We are now on two sites which are separated with quite some distance so as we continue to grow, this new facility is bigger than what we have so it gives us the opportunity to expand further.
“This building has given us the space to build a lot of new products and grow our business further which has been difficult in the constrained buildings we were in before. We’ve also seen the research and development team expanding significantly over the last few years and this gives us the opportunity to give them more space and facilities to continue to develop.”
He added that the new site will also allow the firm to be more efficient in transporting its products from one location.
As part of the redevelopment of the site, Herman Miller also paved the way for the extension of Portal Road, which will link the Bowerhill Industrial Estate to the A350 and rebuilt the sports pavilion at AFC Melksham.
Mr Scott said: “We have had an impact already by building the sports pavilion and constructing the road and that has made a big difference to the community so far. The plan for us as a business is to grow and we need additional space so that will obviously create jobs in the local area and local people would be ideal to fill those positions.
“Herman Miller gets involved in lots of community projects and I am sure that will continue. I think we will support the local community in many ways and bring benefits for it.”
Leading British architect Sir Nicholas Grimshaw designed the new building, having already designed the Wood Mill in Bath and the logistics centre in Chippenham.
Plans were first submitted to Wiltshire Council in 2013, which received unanimous backing from councillors.
Fleur de Rhe Philipe, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for economic development and skills said: “Herman Miller is a key employer in the region and we are delighted they chose Melksham as the site for their new manufacturing facility. The whole of the local community will benefit, not only from the regeneration of the site but also from the additional work on the link road connecting the Bowerhill estate to the A350.”
Herman Miller are expected to move into the new facility soonin the forthcoming weeks, with most of the staff from Bath and Chippenham moving as well.