Northumberland’s largest manufacturing employer, EGGER Hexham, welcomed over 1,400 people through its doors when it held an open weekend for the local community to find out more about its operations.
The leading wood-based materials manufacturer employs over 600 people and runs production lines 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Tobias Zimmermann, plant director technical/production, EGGER Hexham, said: “EGGER knows how important it is to continue to build strong relationships with the local community and this was the perfect opportunity for us to do this. Overall, the event was hugely popular with our Sunday event reaching capacity. There were so many positive comments and it was clear that our visitors really enjoyed it. We would love to have had even more people on the day, but this is a working factory and the safety of everyone on site is always our top priority.”
Visitors to the free family-friendly open days were able to take part in a behind the scenes walking tour of the factory to see exactly what goes on at one of Europe’s most technologically advanced chipboard sites, or hop on a land train for a child-friendly overview of the site.
There were plenty of activities on offer for families to enjoy, including a harvesting simulator to understand more about working in the forest, as well as face painting, a raffle, live music, food and drink.
John Deere brought in its harvesting simulator for an insight into working life in the forest
John Paterson, director of EGGER Forestry, said “It was fantastic to see so many people interested in learning about responsible forestry management, something we are truly passionate about, at the open day weekend. The forestry harvesting demonstrations provided an opportunity for people to safely see what is involved in our forestry operations. The harvesting simulator also provided a fun and interactive way for families to really understand what it’s like to work in the forest. A big thank you goes to John Deere who supplied and showcased the forestry machinery at the weekend.”
Clare Ball, human resources country manager, EGGER UK, added: “The Open Day weekend was a great way to showcase our plant; the diverse processes we have alongside the varied work we carry out at EGGER. The recruitment stand was extremely popular with visitors keen to find out more about careers at EGGER and our current opportunities, including information about our upcoming Apprentice Open Day on 8th November.”
Each goodie bag included a sapling for visitors to plant
Mark Hayton, director of Timberpak Ltd and the company’s customer relationship manager Gavin Ball were on hand to talk about recycled materials and how important they are for EGGER.
“EGGER takes its environmental and sustainability responsibilities seriously and that’s why Timberpak was set up – to source waste wood as a part of EGGER’s manufacturing process,” said Hayton. “The Open Day weekend was a brilliant opportunity to show the local community the EGGER ‘Eco Cycle’, how Timberpak fits into it and why recycled material is so important.”
EGGER employs around 800 people in the United Kingdom and its manufacturing plants at Hexham, Northumberland and Auchinleck, Ayrshire, produce chipboard. At the Hexham site, the chipboard is further upgraded (Melamine Faced Chipboard (MFC)) into products for the furniture and interior design markets and tongue and groove flooring for the building market.