Jobs Boost As SIG Opens Gateshead Supercentre

Posted on 24 November, 2013 by Cliff Goodwin

Seventy jobs will be created when SIG opens its new distribution “supercentre” on Tyneside next month.

SIG Distribution — a division of the FTSE-listed construction supplies firm SIG plc — has almost completed work on a £2m depot on the former Newcastle Federation Breweries site at Dunston, Gateshead. The facility will eventually serve more than 1,500 customers across the North-East.

Traditionally SIG had supplied all its UK customers through a network of trade counters and its Gateshead “supercentre” is a milestone in its continuing expansion, explained SIG’s distribution managing director Paul Gordon.

“It will be the first of its kind in the UK, serving customers from each of our five businesses. We see the North-East as an area of huge potential growth for us and this centre will be crucial in helping us to secure new customers, and work more effectively with existing ones,” he said.

The Sheffield-based group is a specialist supplier to the construction, building and industrial markets. After posting a 2013 first half turnover of £1.27bn a November management statement confirmed.

“The recovery in the UK construction market continued to gather pace in the second half driven by increased demand from the residential sector, although this has yet to be seen in the non-residential sector … Subject, as usual, to any exceptional adverse weather conditions in the remainder of the year, SIG is on track to meet its expectations in 2013.”

SIG Distribution, which will manage and operate the Gateshead depot, incorporates five separate businesses: SIG Insulation, SIG Technical Insulation, SIG Interiors, SIG Fixings and SIG Construction Accessories. Opening its first “incorporated hub” was a move away from its established practice of multiple, small trade counters specific to individual umbrella businesses, to a larger centralised distribution centre serving customers across each of the SIG subsidiaries.

Founded in 1957, SIG has grown from a single site insulation distribution business into a multi-national building products specialist that employs almost 10,000 people on 680 trading sites across Britain, Ireland, France and Germany and the rest of Mainland Europe. The Company operates under a variety of trading names and is a major supplier in both the construction and repairs sector and the maintenance and improvement markets.

SIG’s operations are managed on a country-by-country basis, with each country having a   dedicated divisional management team focusing on each market sector.  The company claims this structure critical to the localised success of its business, ensuring that close attention is given to the specific regional requirements of its customers.

While the majority of the products SIG distributes have been manufactured by other companies, SIG fabricates certain bespoke products, adding value by cutting, reshaping or constructing larger items like insulation blocks and roofing panels.

The Dunston facility — within site of the MetroCentre, Europe’s biggest shopping complex — will be officially opened on 5 December by Gateshead MP, Ian Mearns.

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