The facility will be the firm's largest yet. Credit: via Meehan Media

Wykeland deal paves the way for paper mill complex

Subject to planning approval, Wykeland will sell a 211-acre Goole site to Finnish manufacturer Metsä Tissue for the UK’s largest tissue paper mill, ultimately topping 3m sq ft.

Metsä Tissue, part of Metsä Group, plans to create 400 jobs on site during the project’s decade-long build project, with thousands of indirect jobs generated across the supply chain and local economy.

The firm said that the facility will significantly reduce the quantity of tissue products imported into the UK and Ireland.

Wykeland is the long-term holder of development rights for the land. Managing director Dominic Gibbons said: “We identified the potential of this site a few years ago and secured a development agreement on the land 18 months ago. We’re now delighted to have secured a major international investor so soon to realise that potential.

“We have worked closely with Metsä Tissue since the end of last year to support their ambitions to establish a world-class facility on the site and bring hundreds of new jobs to the region.

“We will continue to support Metsä Tissue through the planning process, bringing to the project our substantial experience within the region of large-scale developments delivering significant economic impact.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – under fire this week for watering down key net zero initiatives – said: “Metsä Tissue’s investment is good for Yorkshire, good for our economy and good for sustainability.

“This announcement is another example of the UK being the first choice for European investment and delivers on my commitment to grow the economy, creating better-paid jobs and opportunity right across the country.”

Occupying a 211-acre site, bordered by Rawcliffe Road in Goole and the M62 motorway, the mill will ultimately reach a production capacity of 240,000 ton of tissue paper, serving both the professional and consumer markets – a level of production unrivalled in the UK.

Up to 45% of tissue products are currently imported into the UK and Ireland. Metsä Tissue aims to replace almost half of the imported products with British production, using fresh fibre pulp as the main raw material from sustainably managed Nordic forests.

The Goole facility will use cutting-edge sustainable production technologies to deliver both efficiency and world-class environmental performance. Metsä Tissue’s activity is rooted in sustainability, with a target for all products to be manufactured from fully fossil fuel-free raw materials by 2030.

Esa Kaikkonen, chief executive  of Metsä Tissue, said: “Goole is the perfect location for this proposed investment. The Humber region provides a crucial gateway to the whole of the United Kingdom and the region’s ambitions to bring cutting-edge green technology and jobs to the UK matches our ambitions in clean, sustainable manufacturing.”

Metsä Tissue is part of Metsä Group, a Finnish forest industry group that produces recyclable and sustainable products from renewable wood in forests in the Nordics. Metsä Tissue currently operates nine mills across Europe.

The planned Goole mill would be the company’s biggest in terms of scale of investment and production.

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