KeyKeg maker Lightweight Containers opens first UK factory in County Durham

Dutch KeyKeg manufacturer Lightweight Containers is to open its first UK plant in Seaham, County Durham, creating 35 jobs.

The firm, which already has plants in the Netherlands, Germany and the United States, has taken a 10 year lease on a 62,000 sq ft. unit on the town’s Foxcover Industrial Estate, with the aim of starting production on site in July.

Peter Rippingale, inward investment manager at Durham County Council’s economic development arm Business Durham, said he was delighted to welcome the KeyKeg company to the region.

“When we heard about Lightweight Containers’ interest in the area we were able to demonstrate to them the strong manufacturing heritage of the North East and the availability of a skilled pool of labour which were essential to their needs,” he said.

“They are committed to using the local workforce and I’m delighted they have already recruited a factory manager alongside a number of other skilled roles. This can only be good news for the local economy.”

‘We’re looking forward to showing North East brewers our KeyKeg products’

Durham County Councillor Cllr Leanne Kennedy with representatives from Business Durham and Lightweight Containers at the new KeyKeg factory
Cllr Leanne Kennedy joins Lightweight Containers, Business Durham, Metnor and HTA Real Estate to open the new KeyKeg factory.

The KeyKeg maker, which is currently fitting out its new unit, expects to create around 35 jobs within two years as it looks to to satisfy a growing demand for its products, due in part to an upsurge in the craft brewing market.

Ruud Bais, operations director at Lightweight Containers, was closely involved in bringing the company to the North East.

He said: “Whilst this will be the base for our UK operations as a whole, we are aware of the North East’s brewing heritage and look forward to showcasing our products to the region’s growing number of craft brewers.

The firm is also looking to work with the local community.

Ruud added: “As a business, we aim to support the local community and to this end we have engaged predominantly local North East based contractors to carry out the initial fit out of the unit.

‘Boost for the local economy’

Cllr Carl Marshall, Durham County Council‘s Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “It is great to see another company choosing County Durham as a place to expand and this again reinforces our growing reputation as a desirable location for business.

“This will provide another boost for the local economy both in Seaham and further afield and we look forward to production starting.”