A FAST-expanding Blackburn building products firm has revived a multi-million pound investment project in the town creating dozens of jobs.

In December 2015 GAP announced its plans for a £10m state-of-the art new factory on Shadsworth Business Park creating 200 new jobs.

Instead of going ahead the firm bought the plastic division of Sheffield Insulation Group for £20m.

Now having merged its purchase into its operations, GAP is breathing new life into the shelved project next to its existing headquarters.

Founder and director Charles Greensmith yesterday revealed its planned to spend £30m on the most up-to-date production line for plastic buildings products in the UK creating 75 jobs.

The firm has already created 182 new posts in Blackburn since 2015 bringing its workforce in the town up to 390 out of 850 nationwide.

Mr Greensmith’s announcement comes after the firm secured an agreement with Blackburn with Darwen Council to buy the 4.6 acres of land on Partnership Way long-earmarked for the development outright.

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Cllr Phil Riley, borough regeneration boss, said: “We are delighted.”

Cllr John Slater, leader of the council Conservative group, said: “This is good news, showing how well the local economy is doing.”

Work on the 105,000 square foot factory will start within two years and take nine months and the installation of new machinery another six.

Mr Greensmith, who founded the company with partner Simon Bird in Accrington in 1993, said: “We have always intended to go ahead but had to put the project on hold after we bought the plastics division of SIG and integrated its 60 depots into our operation.

“I am excited to breathe new life into this development, our biggest-ever investment. It is ambitious and fulfils our dream of having the most advanced plastic building products factory in the country.

“It will be in addition to our existing premises where we have created 182 jobs in the last four years. The building will cost £10m and the machinery inside £20m.

“It will create 75 new jobs. It will make the whole range of exterior plastic products for the building industry including doors, windows, gutters, pipes and cladding. This investment will be the springboard for further expansion.We are committed to Blackburn.”

GAP Ltd came to Shadsworth in 1995 with a few dozen workers and is one of the UK’s two largest manufacturers of PVC-U building products including the Rockdoor, Homeline and Homeframe brands. Some 10,000 of its doors are in homes across Blackburn.

Cllr Riley said: “The council is very pleased to have secured this agreement which enables GAP’s further expansion.” Cllr Slater said: “This shows people want to invest in Blackburn with Darwen.”