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250 new jobs for Wrexham as packaging company picks Llay for new HQ – £50m investment expected

Hotpack Packaging Industries, a leading producer and wholesaler of quality disposable food packaging materials in the United Arab Emirates, is basing their European Headquarters and a new 360,000 square foot factory in Llay.

We are told Hotpack Packaging UAE, through its UK arm H-Pack Packaging UK Ltd, completed on the purchase of the Sharp Phase 2 building and land early last month.

Today Economy Secretary, Ken Skates announced that Hotpack is looking to create 250 manufacturing and warehouse jobs on the site over the next 3 to 5 years.

After 22 years of expansion in the middle east, the Hotpack management team had been looking for a suitable location to manufacture in Europe. The company’s decision to locate to North Wales follows months of support and advice from the Welsh Government as well as a £1.5m loan provided through the Development Bank of Wales. The loan is the first in North Wales to come from the Welsh Government’s £100 million Wales Flexible Investment Fund.

The company has praised the support it received from Welsh Government and the Development Bank which helped it to select Wales as a base ahead of stiff competition from Slovakia and other European countries.

Hotpack’s location in North Wales is expected to bring £50m of inward investment to the region.

Economy Secretary, Ken Skates said, “I am delighted that following a period of close working between Welsh Government and Hotpack Ltd, and £1.5m of support through the Development Bank, the company has made the decision to move to Wrexham.

“With a business plan that expects to deliver 250 jobs over the next 3 years, I am confident that Hotpack’s move here will bring genuine benefits to the local economy and community, and I look forward to visiting when the new facility is up and running.”

“This is an example of exactly what can be achieved when businesses are given access to the right advice support. Last month I was pleased to launch the Development Bank of Wales, which will provide us with a competitive edge over the rest of the UK. I am confident this will ensure we enjoy even more success in boosting job opportunities in communities right across Wales.”

Hotpack Packaging Global Managing Director, Mr Abdul Jebbar said: “From our very first visit to region, the people of Wales and in particular Wrexham, offered us an exceptional levels of support, both personally and commercially.

“We were particularly impressed to by the assistance of Economy Secretary, Ken Skates and Rural Affairs Secretary, Lesley Griffiths, other local politicians and Wrexham Council. The Welsh Government’s business support team have worked closely with us throughout our fact finding visits. Having now completed on the site purchase, we have already commenced the site factory & development and we took forward to a long and mutually prosperous relationship with the people and businesses of Wales.”

North Wales Regional Manager, Rhodri Evans of the Development Bank of Wales said: “It is great news the first company in North Wales to benefit from the Wales Flexible Investment Fund is one with the potential of major job growth in the area. Working with Welsh Government, we have been able to provide the finance to help attract an expanding business to Wales and choose Wrexham as the location for its first UK base.”

“Hotpack will be sharing the site with Sharp who are already located there.”

Local MP Ian Lucas told us: “I am absolutely delighted that this investment has been made in Wrexham – it is a vote of huge confidence in our area. Since I first met with Hotpack back in 2015, within 48 hours of them contacting me, I have been working with Ken Skates AM, Lesley Griffiths AM and the team at Hotpack to bring this factory to Llay.

“Today’s announcement is the culmination of a great deal of effort by all concerned. I’m looking forward to the opening of the premises – and to more jobs for our area.”

Welcoming HotPack to Wrexham, local AM Lesley Griffiths said: “This is really positive news. The Welsh Government has worked closely with the company to help secure this investment in Wrexham. Whilst representing the Welsh Government in my role as Cabinet Secretary for Environment & Rural Affairs earlier this year, I visited Hotpack headquarters in Dubai to discuss the company’s impending expansion to the UK.”

“To attract an international company to the area, Wrexham clearly has a reputation as a place where businesses can flourish. Many local businesses have highlighted to me the skilled local workforce and dynamic industrial capacity which enables companies to succeed.”

“H-Pack’s move contributes to several other success stories in Wrexham in recent times – Chetwood Financial Ltd opened its offices creating 90 jobs, a £1m business hub is being developed in the town centre and the Wales Development Bank launched. Plans for a North East Wales Metro are also progressing. All of this clearly demonstrates the pro-active Welsh Labour Government is investing in our town – supporting businesses, improving infrastructure and ultimately boosting our region’s economy.”

Cllr Terry Evans, Lead Member for Economic Performance and Regeneration, said: “Wrexham has a long list of strong economic assets – especially in the production and manufacturing sectors – and our strength as a town and location for business is well-known. This move by H-Pack, and their parent company Hotpack, is a good sign of confidence in Wrexham and we should be proud of that.

“We at Wrexham Council have been heavily involved in this project, and offered any help we could in order to facilitate this development – and we will continue to offer whatever help we can in future.”

The below corporate video gives an indication to the type and wide range of work Hotpack carry out…

We first discovered the likely location of Hotpack back in March/April when Arabian Business and other similar sites reported on the ‘announcement’ during a visit to Dubai, however the slightly odd press release quoted Ken Skates the Economy Secretary of the ‘City of Wales’.

After looking to firm things up from a local perspective there was no comment or official announcement in Wales or the UK from any involved party at the time for ‘commercial reasons’, and we were firmly told that any story could potentially have adverse outcomes on a yet to be finalised deal. Later in August a similar exchange took place, despite the news appearing on the official Hotpack website, and on a UK based business website in late October.

Thus erring on the side of caution, this is now officially news locally several months later, as of midnight today when the embargo from Welsh Government expired.

Top pic: Hotpack elsewhere… and how it could look in Llay.

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