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Date: 22/06/2017

Specsavers founder Dame Mary Perkins officially opened Specsavers’ new manufacturing and distribution centre in Kidderminster.

Dame Mary cut the ribbon on the site at Stourpoint Five, which consolidates and expands Specsavers’ operations in the area to meet growing demand and toured the new facilities with other members of the Specsavers Board on Friday 9 June.

Construction on the site took 11 months and was completed on schedule in November last year. International Glazing Services (IGS) and Lens Online moved into the two new units in phases and this was completed last month.

Dame Mary said: ‘Ever since we set up Specsavers in 1984 it has been important for us to oversee our own manufacturing, to be able to control quality and staff conditions while at the same time being able to pass our cost savings on to all Specsavers stores and their customers.’

Simon Holloway, director of manufacturing and distribution at Specsavers said: ‘We are delighted to be operating from our new facilities at Stourport Five. Both businesses have gone through a significant amount of change relocating to the new premises and have continued to deliver excellent service to the Specsavers Stores. We are already seeing huge productivity benefits from operating from these premises and have seen a reduction in carbon footprint. Finally, I would like to thank all of the teams involved in making this project go as smoothly as it did.’

The new facility will allow Specsavers to double its capacity, future proofing the business for the next 15 to 20 years. This expansion will create more jobs in the local area, with up to 200 more positions over the next five years.

Around 400 staff currently work at the new site and enjoy improved facilities including two canteens, a games area, as well as a climate controlled working environment and more ergonomic work stations.

Mike Parker, Wyre Forest District Council’s Director for Economic Prosperity and Place said:

‘Seeing Specsavers invest in these two fine buildings is really positive for the company and their employees and Kidderminster.  It is an excellent example of private and public sectors working together to make new development as straightforward and accessible as possible.  The creation of this superb new Specsavers facility was completed without the need for planning permission as the company were able to utilise the Council’s Local Development Order (LDO).

‘The LDO was adopted by Wyre Forest District Council to simplify the planning process and enable businesses to invest in the local area with minimum legislation.  Our intention is to establish a business friendly environment which is also great for jobs.  So far, the LDO policy has benefited several local businesses and boosted job opportunities. We are very pleased to be part of the celebration of this new chapter for Specsavers and for the area as a whole.’

Specsavers’ International Glazing Services business glazes customers’ frames with prescription lenses for Specsavers stores in Northern European countries. The Lens Online business stocks and distributes lenses and contact lenses to stores in the UK and Ireland.