£5 million quarry redevelopment, computer-aided production, and new solar power project
BURLINGTON Stone in Cumbria have unveiled a multi-million-pound investment in their Kirkby Quarry, securing the future of the business for decades to come.
The 170-year-old business, part of the Holker Group, has invested £5 million redeveloping the quarry, removing overburden to access high-quality reserves.
In addition, £300,000 has been invested in modern, computer-controlled ‘CNC’ machinery for cutting and polishing the quarry’s high-quality architectural stone products, which are seen in statement projects across the world, and a further £250,000 on solar panels which will deliver one-third of the quarry’s electricity needs.
According to Burlington Stone’s managing director, Richard Page, the new CNC machines will enhance the skills of the firm’s stone workers and allow efficient production of larger and more complex bespoke shapes for its architectural products.
‘We are using CNCs in ways that fit with Burlington’s values,’ said Mr Page. ‘We will never come away from the high levels of craftsmanship and hand-finished quality of our products that we are renowned for. It’s to supplement the craft element, not replace it.’
The announcement of the Kirkby Quarry investments follows the acquisition by Burlington Stone of the remaining part of their 50% stake in Barrow-based Burlington Aggregates.
The acquisition of the rest of the business from Neil Price Construction Services doubles the size of the business to form one of the largest independently owned construction materials groups in the North West, employing around 110 people and with a turnover of around £15 million.
Mr Page said the move would enable Burlington to further improve the services provided to their customers, enhance their ability to develop new products, and secure jobs across South Cumbria.
‘These are exciting times for Burlington. The new business will bring together the high-quality, well-established roofing and architectural business of Burlington Stone with the experienced aggregates and ready-mixed concrete team at Burlington Aggregates,’ he said.
Meanwhile, the 890 solar panels fitted to the quarry’s factory roofs will generate 275,000kWh of electricity a year, which is nearly one-third of the site’s annual consumption.
‘This major solar investment at Kirkby Quarry is a big step in our innovative journey to significantly reducing our carbon emissions,’ said Mr Page. ‘Within days of the first electricity being produced, we have been able to measure and share live data with our teams of the impact it is already having on our carbon footprint.’
The business that became Burlington Stone was founded in 1843 by the second Earl of Burlington, and its Lake District slate and stone roofing and walling products play an essential part in maintaining and conserving the unique Lakeland vernacular. The company supplies bespoke stone products for high-quality statement projects around the world and its roofing products adorn some of the most distinguished properties across the UK.