Global structural steel firm John Reid & Sons (REIDsteel) has announced major new redevelopment plans in Dorset. The company aims to build a modern, cutting-edge manufacturing facility along with new offices in Christchurch.
Including landscaping and environmental improvements, the scheme is proposed for REIDsteel’s home of more than 50 years in Reid Street and an adjacent site. REIDsteel, which employs more than 130 people, has launched a consultation programme to seek the views of the community and other stakeholders before submitting a planning application.
Simon Boyd (pictured), managing director of REIDsteel, said: “As a local business of many years’ standing, our heart is in Christchurch. Our exciting proposals represent a multi-million-pound investment in the town and the local economy while safeguarding the future of our business for many years to come.”
He added: “We are keen to hear views about our scheme, with more details available on a dedicated website. They matter to us and will inform our plans moving forward.”
REIDsteel previously gained planning permission for 170 homes on its site so it could relocate outside the town centre. Its directors decided to revisit the scheme when the opportunity became available to remain in the town with space to reconfigure and internalise its operations under one roof.
The proposals include construction of the new factory and offices with access on to Reid Street. The majority of existing buildings on the site would be demolished.
Boyd said: “The layout of our current site leads to inefficiencies which reduce our competitiveness, hampering our ability to grow the business. Redevelopment would bring multiple manufacturing processes into a single, automated production line under one roof, including steel delivery and unloading.
“This would give us a safer working environment, more control and the ability to implement new technology to improve productivity. It would improve the local environment by cutting down on noisy outdoor handling operations and reducing interruptions to traffic flow on Fairmile caused by restricted access to our existing stockyard.
“The redevelopment would allow us to continue our growth trajectory and bring greater employment to the Christchurch area with more high-skilled jobs.”