A Peak District firm is investing £2.8 million in a project which will create 15 new jobs.
DSF Refractories and Minerals Ltd is installing 12.3km of natural gas pipeline in a verge adjacent to the A515 from Brierlow Bar to Newhaven, then alongside the A5012 to Friden.
The work will safeguard the 108 jobs already in existence at the Newhaven firm as well as creating new ones.
The project has gone ahead thanks to a £280,000 grant from D2N2’s Unlocking Investment for Growth programme, which is backed by the government’s Regional Growth Fund, as well as securing a loan from the Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growing Places Fund.
Phil Bearn, Finance Director at DSF, said: “We are indebted to both the Regional Growth Fund and the Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growing Places Fund in providing support in circumstances where normal asset-based funding was unavailable.
“This is a game-changing project allowing us to compete on a level playing field against our European competition in worldwide export markets. Without the assistance of these two funds this project would not have taken place and enabled us to grow our business and secure jobs long into the future for all our employees.”
Once complete, the project will lead to reduced production costs and reduced carbon emissions and there could be an added benefit in the future to local businesses and farms to taking a spur off the line to reduce their own costs.
New internal pipework will be constructed to take the gas from the roadside meters to the kilns and other equipment. New burners suitable for natural gas will then be installed on the kilns, driers and heaters that currently use LPG or fuel oil.
David Ralph, Chief Executive of D2N2, added: “D2N2 is about providing sustainable jobs. Jobs of the right sort, in the right place and at the right scale.
“Innovation and low carbon are two of our top priorities and complex high-quality manufacturing often has a significant need for heat, power and water.
“DSF has been working with us for some time, so we are delighted that this project is now proceeding.”