Peterborough chemicals manufacturer unveils £1.2 million expansion plan

The manufacturing process at Safapac.
The manufacturing process at Safapac.
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A chemicals manufacturer in Peterborough is planning a £1.2 million expansion.

Safapac Holdings has just acquired three more units to add to its premises that already occupy a large corner of the business park in Stapledon Road, Orton Southgate.

Martin Steele, chairman of Safapac Holdings.  ktFsFSMJr3U13dCoEsXR

Martin Steele, chairman of Safapac Holdings. ktFsFSMJr3U13dCoEsXR

Company founder Martin Steele (pictured) said the premises would be used for the warehousing and dispatch of its chemicals and products.

It is expected the extension will create a further six jobs at the company, which already employs 65 people.

Approval is still needed from Peterborough City Council for the storage of hazardous materials at the premises.

Safapac manufactures and packages agricultural products - mostly pesticides, insecticides, fungicides and herbicides for the farming industry worldwide.

Its scientists are specialist in blending the chemicals to make the required product. The raw ingredients are supplied by the customer but have to be transported to Wragby airfield in Lincolnshire for storage until the they are required and then transported to Safapac.

Mr Steele said: “The new units will make it cheaper for our customers as they will bring the chemicals straight here and then pick up the final product from here.

“It will mean less lorry journeys on the roads and will also open opportunities for other companies to use our services.”

The proposed development is the latest stage in a gradual but continual growth of the company since its arrival in Peterborough.

Mr Steele said: “The company was formed in a management buyout in 1997. We were based near Duxford Airfield but Cambridge University bought the site and there wasn’t a place for a chemicals manufacturer among an examination papers business.

“I found this site in Peterborough - it’s ideal.

“The city has the right workforce and a strong engineering base and good communications links - close to the A1 and within easy access of the docks and our customers.”

The company, which has a turnover of about £7 million a year, arrived in Peterborough in 2006 and has grown steadily since. A week ago it secured a £60,000 grant for its R&D arm Camari to increase production.

Despite the Brexit uncertainty, Mr Steele said a current concern was a lack of affordable housing in the city.

“More businesses are coming here. It is difficult to recruit and we need to bring people in from outside. Where do they live?

“We’d have to double or treble salaries. It is outside the gift of business to alleviate this situation.”