Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, visited Norbord’s Inverness factory to commemorate one year of production on its new manufacturing line.
The Royal visit marked one year since the first board of oriented strand board (SterlingOSB Zero) was produced on the factory’s new continuous press system – part of a £95m expansion and reinvestment process.
The Duke, who also has the title of The Earl of Inverness, undertook a tour of the new mill, accompanied by Norbord’s Jerry Jones, general manager, Mark Reilly, production manager and Steve McTaggart, technical manager, who talked through the production process and the significance of the expansion.
HRH also took time to speak to apprentices about their on-the-job training as part of Norbord’s apprenticeship programme, within which there are various specialisms – electrical, mechanical and technical manufacturing. To commemorate the Duke’s visit and mark the one-year anniversary of Norbord’s new Inverness mill, a plaque was unveiled – made from OSB.
Prince Andrew said: “It’s a privilege to be able to see how manufacturing is growing and becoming more important in this part of the world, so thank you very much indeed for this opportunity, and it gives me great pleasure to unveil this plaque.”
The investment in the Morayhill plant, which included a £12m development grant from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, will see the volume of the SterlingOSB production almost double once it is working at full capacity, which will support the growing demand for OSB across the UK and Europe.
“We would like to thank His Royal Highness, The Duke of York, for taking time to visit us at Norbord and for taking an interest in our work and investment,” said Jerry Jones, general manager at Norbord’s Morayhill plant.
“The Duke spoke to our team of apprentices and asked a lot of questions about not just what we do here, but the industry as a whole. It’s clear that he’s aware of some of the challenges facing the wood panel industry at the moment and is appreciative of all the work that’s being carried out in collaboration with other industry members. The investment in the plant has significantly increased our capacity for OSB production and we’re very proud to have had our first anniversary commemorated in this way.”