Construction of a new paint manufacturing factory in Ashington, Northumberland, has gotten underway and is due to be completed by 2014.

Sir Robert McAlpine has been named as the main contractor of the £100 million project, after beating off competition from the likes of Kier, Morgan Siddall and GMI to land the construction part of the scheme, which is worth £25 million. The company is taking on the job for AkzoNobel which is set to move its operations from nearby Prudhoe as well as Slough, Berkshire. The paint manufacturer is intending to close the other Northumberland plant once the Ashington development is completed,

The site will create products for major brands within the sector such as Dulux, as well as becoming the home to the company's UK Decorative Paints operations, boosting its productivity across the British Isles. Upon completion, workers, executives and members of the public will be in for an extra special treat as a very exclusive guest will be making an appearance at the unveiling. Made famous by the advertisements, the highly recognised Dulux dog will be at the opening ceremony adding a touch of glamour to the proceedings as well as bringing a celebrity element to the finished factory.

AkzoNobel's UK country director, Guy Williams said: "We are delighted that the building of our world-class factory is commencing today. This is a huge step for AkzoNobel and for the region, and our new plant will be producing paint sustainably for generations to come.

"This site and build gives us the opportunity to inspire the community, customers, and employees and to be an inspiring colour partner."

It comes after McAlpine unveiled a collaboration with Skanska and Morgan Siddall which aims to provide training for their suppliers to operate in a more sustainable way by cutting down on their carbon emissions, as well as having better control over their water usage. The Supply Chain Sustainability School will give company representatives virtual learning to help them perform to a better standard in the future.

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