A welcome injection into the local economy

“Iggesund Paperboard’s decision to build a biomass CHP plant for £108 million also initiated the activities that have led to the Grow Your Income programme. Its aim is of course to ensure that the mill at Workington will have access to clean biomass from the UK,” explains Mill Director Ulf Löfgren, who was the first person in charge of the project in his previous capacity as Finance Director.

The goal is to build up to an intake of about 50,000 tonnes of locally produced biomass per year. That level has not yet been reached, even though the project is developing in accordance with the original plan. “The plantations we helped to establish are only now starting to produce crops so we’re expecting a big increase over the next few years,” Löfgren says. “You have to remember it can take up to three years before the first crop is ready.”

This year Iggesund Paperboard’s mill at Workington is celebrating its fiftieth year as a stable employer at its present site. The mill manufactures paperboard, which is used by the packaging industry to make strong, lightweight cartons for food, medicines and much more. Iggesund’s Workington products can be seen in every grocery shop but are they difficult for the average consumer to spot. For many people Cumbria the mill at Workington is fairly anonymous and its products are also anonymous because they are a base material that is printed, die cut and creased before reaching the retail shelves.

“One unexpected side effect of the Grow Your Income project is that we’ve become better known among the local residents,” Löfgren says. “From having been relatively anonymous we are now far more widely known and appreciated in the local community. We’ve exhibited at many farm shows and hosted many local farmers on study visits to the mill.”

Cumbrian residents are not the only ones to appreciate the Grow Your Income programme. Major brand owners have been impressed that Iggesund has developed a project whereby a large-scale industrial enterprise is finding ways to cooperate with individual farmers and give them a new income source.

“There’s no doubt that our injection of money into the local economy is greatly appreciated in many places,” concludes a satisfied mill manager.