Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently paid a visit to Penmaenmawr quarry in Conwy County, where building materials supplier Hanson have recently reopened a railway line. The Denbighshire Free Press reports that the visit highlighted the drive for improved infrastructure in the UK, which was creating jobs for areas such as North Wales.
The granite quarry has been in operation for over 100 years, and it feeds the production of asphalt and concrete products which are in high demand around the UK. Hanson, who own and operate the quarry, have recently invested £300,000 to reopen the site’s railway, allowing aggregates to be transported via rail, and avoiding the need for HGVs.
Hanson also own the Padeswood cement plant near Mold in North Wales, which will be part of the company’s HyNet North West carbon capture and storage (CCS) project. Hanson CEO Simon Willis showed the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart, and local MP for Aberconwy, Robin Millar, around the Penmaenmawr quarry.
Mr Willis said: “Securing planning permission for mineral extraction can be challenging at a local level but is essential to ensure a consistent supply of materials to enable the government’s low carbon construction and levelling-up ambitions.”
He added: “I explained to the Prime Minister that the industry needs visibility of the government’s pipeline of planned infrastructure projects to give us the reassurance which will allow us to plan and invest to secure the volume of minerals required.”
With several major construction projects ready or with the potential to be greenlit over the next few years, such as the HS2 high-speed rail Northern leg, and possible nuclear power plants at Sizewell or Hinkley, or at Wylfa, the demand for UK aggregates looks set to remain high for the foreseeable future.
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