Claydon expands to meet rapid growth in demand with help from LEP grant

Oliver Claydon and Jeff Claydon in front of the first machine off the production line in the new assembly building at Claydon HQ

Claydon has further expanded its factory in Wickhambrook, West Suffolk with the completion of a new purpose-built building more than doubling production capacity and creating many new jobs.

Supported by a £267,400 Growing Business Fund Grant from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (NALEP), the project will help the 40 year old company meet a global increase in orders of its Evolution and Hybrid drills, Straw Harrows, TerraStar® light cultivators and TerraBlade inter-row hoes.

European market leader in direct strip seeding technology, Claydon has seen demand for its products grow ten-fold since 2010. With many markets still at an embryonic stage and its distribution network growing rapidly the company expects sales to grow exponentially during 2023.

In 2015, Claydon was awarded the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership grant to help the business develop in three stages. The first of these was the construction of new offices adjoining the company’s existing production facility to house additional staff to support customers in the UK and overseas markets.  Blending in with the existing workshop building and surrounding countryside, the two-storey offices provide 365m2 of accommodation for up to 27 staff on the top level. The ground floor is dedicated to visitors, with two meeting rooms, a dealer training and presentation studio which can accommodate 50 people, together with commercial-grade catering facilities. A £100,000 investment in solar technologies provides 100kW/h of electrical energy, reducing the use of electricity from the National Grid at the site and minimising the company’s carbon footprint.

Works begin on the new assembly building in 2022.

The second stage in the company’s development, which has just been completed, involved the construction of a new assembly building on the footprint of derelict former farm buildings.  Measuring 36m x 36m and 8m to the eaves, the new 1296m2 clear-span building was constructed from steel supplied by AJN Steelstock Ltd in Kentford near Newmarket and manufactured by another Suffolk-based business, Anglia Steel Portals Ltd at Red Lodge near Mildenhall. The building was erected and clad by East Anglian company S & J Fabrications, while Street Cranes in Sheffield supplied and installed the four 3.2-tonne overhead cranes which will better utilise the space in the new building and improve operational efficiencies.

With the requirement for staff in the assembly and yard area alone set to triple in 2023, Claydon’s focus now is recruiting additional staff to fill the range of vacancies available at its Wickhambrook factory across all sectors of its business, from design, procurement and sales positions to welding, painting, fabrication, and assembly roles.