Jane Hunt, MP for Loughborough and many surrounding villages, took time out from her Easter break last week [13th April] to visit the British Gypsum Barrow upon Soar plant and mine to meet staff, tour the plant and venture 100 metres underground into the mine to witness the modern mining of gypsum – a key ingredient used to create plaster, plasterboards and other construction products that build homes, hospitals and schools.
The British Gypsum Barrow upon Soar site is the principal UK supplier for bagged plaster, which is an essential raw material to the UK construction industry. The Barrow upon Soar plant is the largest and most technically advanced plaster production plant of its kind in Europe, operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Located in the heart of her constituency, Jane spent the morning at the Barrow site and met several employees inside the plant and down in the mine.
Both the plant and mine are a substantial local employer, employing 143 people and working with over 80 local contractors. It’s a busy working site tucked away on the outskirts of the village of Barrow upon Soar. £23 million has been invested in the site over the last five years, with a further £10 million planned over the next two and a half years.
Jane Hunt, MP for the Loughborough Constituency said: “I was delighted to meet the team at Barrow and explore the plant and mine and find out what work happens here. It’s a strategically important site employing many people and providing a product that is crucial to the building of new homes, schools and hospitals across the UK”.
She continued: “As well as hearing all about the operations and manufacturing of such a vital product, it was nice to hear how British Gypsum and the employees at Barrow are involved in their local community, including actively fundraising for vital local charities like The Carpenters Arms and the community association at Barrow. Although this is a big business, it is one that cares about local issues and that is nice to see”.
Greg Bere, Barrow upon Soar plant manager at British Gypsum, said: “Welcoming Jane to our site and taking her on a tour of the plant and mine was a real pleasure. It’s great to see a genuine interest in our work and what we do and it was lovely for our team to meet Jane and share their experiences of working here. We discussed manufacturing, the environment, helping the local community and what we can do to ensure our site continues to thrive and remain a vital employer within the local community”.