Multinational joint-venture launches Bromborough base for sustainable packaging

18 August 2022
A group shot of partners at the launch of the new Albea plant in Bromborough
Partners gather at the new Albea plant in Bromborough

More than 100 new jobs are being created in Wirral in a significant new investment in the borough developing sustainable plastic packaging for a major manufacturer.

Albéa Creative UK, a joint venture between India-based Creative Group and Albéa Group, headquartered in France, has taken a 130,000 sq. ft facility in Bromborough.

The move brings the key supplier of sustainable packaging closer to their customers in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector. The £multi-million investment is supported by Wirral Council, Growth Platform, local investor Alliance Fund Managers, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and the Department for International Trade.

The joint venture brings world-first innovations in plastics recycling, with the ultimate aim of eliminating non-recycled plastics from the FMCG products found on supermarket shelves and in our homes. This investment was identified in 2018 when representatives from Wirral Council, working with the Liverpool City Region Investment Service, visited India as part of the programme of targeted investment meetings alongside the Department for International Trade.

Also attending the launch event was Alan Gemmel OBE, Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for South Asia and British Deputy High Commissioner for Western India. The project is supported by a £1m loan from the Flexible Growth Fund. The £20m Flexible Growth Fund was established in January 2020, when Mayor Steve Rotheram launched a £75m Business Growth Package.

The Flexible Growth Fund is managed on behalf of the LCR Combined Authority by Alliance Fund Managers (AFM). The move by Albéa Creative UK comes at an exciting time for Wirral, with significant development plans currently in place following the launch of the Birkenhead 2040 Framework.

A key focus of these plans is to diversify the local economy, building on the successful manufacturing, maritime, digital and creative sectors, while creating the environment for sustainable investment that drives innovation and creates jobs.

François Luscan, of Albéa Creative UK, said:

Creative and Albéa are leaders in their field; two industrial companies focused on delivering value to their customers in FMCG by being ready and willing to invent and invest. This project brings together a partnership of companies sharing a strong commitment to corporate social responsibility, with project partners and customers paying a lot of attention to their local community. The past two years have demonstrated that resilience always starts in the community, and the economic, social and environmental value of supply chains that are shorter, agile and solidary.

Dr. Surendra Agarwal of Albéa Creative UK, said:

Using decades of technical expertise in Resin Technology, Plastic Processing, Machines, Moulds, New Technology and Innovation, Albéa Creative UK plans to manufacture greener and more sustainable products with reduced carbon foot-prints. The new site is capable of processing 10,000+ tons of plastic per year with over 50%+ of the plastic processed at this site expected to be recycled plastic (PCR). This will reduce virgin plastic use, preventing landfill/ocean pollution and lead to Circular Economy. We are here to bring values to our customers and at the time support R&D, innovation, development of new materials and technology and provide training and education in the Wirral area.

Chair of Wirral Council’s Economy Regeneration & Housing Committee, Cllr Tony Jones, said:

We have worked hard in Wirral to make this borough a welcoming and viable location for investment. It’s incredibly gratifying to see this paying off and doubly pleasing to see such an innovative company whose work will not only bring jobs and growth but deliver very real and much needed environmental benefits.

And speaking at the launch event, Mayor of Wirral, Cllr Jeff Green said:

Albéa Creative is at the cutting edge of research, development and deployment of new processes to reduce and eliminate the use of virgin plastics. As a sustainable manufacturing hub, it’s fantastic to see global giants like Albéa Creative choosing to come to Wirral, bringing investment, innovation and creating sustainable jobs to support the local economy and those who live here.

Jeff Cummins, Investment Manager with Alliance Fund Managers, said:

It was great to be involved, at an early stage, helping to shape the funding support needed to enable this project to progress and the Company complete its relocation to the Liverpool City Region. The sustainability aspect of the business, alongside the number of new local jobs being created were key factors in why we were keen to provide suitable support. We hope that more LCR based businesses, who are looking at growth to create new locally based jobs, consider bringing forward their plans to take advantage of the Super-Deduction for capital expenditure announced within the 2021 Budget, and if they do, support through this fund is still available.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:

The Flexible Growth Fund was a key part of the £75m business support package I launched back in 2019, it was to try and attract innovative and expanding new businesses to our city region – just like this! Our region is a global leader in the world of advanced manufacturing, including a flourishing partnership with Unilever that is delivering significant advances in new materials. It’s fantastic to be able to tie together our work on innovation with the difference that Combined Authority investments are making.

In all, this is a key part of the way in which I’m working to diversify our economy, create new, well-paid jobs and to position the Liverpool City Region at the head of the Green Industrial Revolution.