Around 250 new jobs have been created at a new Covid face mask manufacturing warehouse in Northampton dubbed 'one of the best in Europe'.
Medicom, a manufacturer of personal protective equipment, has opened its first ever face mask production warehouse in the UK at Brackmills Industrial Estate.
The firm says it is already manufacturing more than 1.5 million masks a day.
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The Canadian-based group, which operates under its internationally renowned Kolmi brand, says it is helping the NHS combat Covid.
This follows Medicom’s agreement with the UK government to provide more than 600 million clinical masks for the NHS.
The managing director of Medicom in the UK, Hugues Bourgeois, believes the new facility is a significant step forward in the UK’s fight against Covid.
Mr Bourgeois said: “Not all face masks are of the same quality. Our new UK facility is probably one of the best in Europe.
"It’s a big commitment by our business. We’ve made it because we believe in the NHS and this country’s desire to strengthen PPE production in the UK – ensuring an adequate and secure supply of high-quality protection for essential workers to carry out their vital work safely and comfortably."
The company said the facility also represents an investment in Northamptonshire of 'many millions of pounds by a global business, just a few months after Brexit'.
The Northampton site was chosen because of its proximity to the NHS supply depot in Daventry. The firm said the location also reduces the need for imports with a high carbon footprint, and there are other major environmental benefits through recycling procedures.
Medicom owns and operates 10 manufacturing sites around the world, but this is the first in the UK.
To mark its arrival in the UK, Medicom has launched a search for Northamptonshire’s local pandemic heroes – with a holiday voucher on offer for the winner.
Mr Bourgeois said: “We’re very proud of our partnership with the NHS and that we’re protecting front line NHS staff. Our Local Heroes campaign is our way of saying thank you to these amazing people.”
Nominations are invited for anyone working in healthcare in Northamptonshire who has made a special contribution during the pandemic. To nominate a Local Hero, simply to go https://kolmi.co.uk/localhero and fill in the form by midnight on August 22.