Investment key to a sustainable future

Hereford Quarries benefit from six new lorries as Group expansion continues

Wye Valley Group’s expansion continues apace, with the firm investing over £1.5 million in new equipment, vehicles and plant over the past four months.

This includes six new lorries for Hereford Quarries Ltd, which has increased their fleet to 12 tippers and two grab lorries.

The Group has also added to the fleet a new hook loader with drag trailer, rehandler, and twin-ram baler – with two skip loaders arriving imminently.

Andrew Howell, co-owner of the family-run business which employs over 150 people from the Eastside Recycling Facility in Rotherwas, remains upbeat, despite economic conditions over the last year which he described as “challenging”.

He said: “There are future plans for rolling replacement, investment in our sites, continuing improvements and maintenance and new software. We cannot rest on our laurels.

“It is no secret that economic conditions over the past year have proved challenging for everyone, with inflation and interest rates soaring.

“Yet we can think ourselves fortunate that the Wye Valley Group of companies continues to weather the storm.

Hereford Quarries has seen significant investment over the past few months

“Figures for the Group as a whole have pretty much held up with the corresponding six months for the previous year, which is encouraging.

“Given what has been going on with the economy, with inflation running riot in the last 12 months and interest rates continuing to rise, it is commendable we have kept on track – that’s largely down to the hard work and sheer effort of those who work for Wye Valley Group.”

Howell hopes Lugg Bridge-based Hereford Quarries, whose washplant has processed over one-million tonnes of gravel and recycled construction rubble in the last decade, will reap the benefits of the latest investment.

Rightly proud of company’s ability to produce quality, sustainable aggregates from construction waste, which would otherwise be destined for landfill, he added: “Quarrying provides necessary materials – such as stone, gravel and sand – for the local economy.

“With natural resources finite, it is critical to maximise the product recovery from all available materials. Our washplant processes minerals such as sand and aggregates for re-use, and the methods of recycling by means of wet processing have a significant part to play in sustainability and the evolution of the circular economy. Of all the waste we receive, 99.9 per cent is recycled.”

However, Howell sounded a note of caution, with the construction industry still struggling.

“It looks like inflation has stopped going up and interest rates seem to have peaked, but we are not out of the woods yet,” he added.

“For example, in January of last year, 14 construction companies went to the wall and already six demolition companies have gone into administration in the last four months. That tells you the state of the construction industry, which is not good.

“The economy is tight, and business is challenging. While we are still riding the waves and generally maintaining turnover and profit levels, the only way to grow is through investment in the business – and we hope to continue to do that.”