A £33m-turnover global packaging manufacturer, which started life on Nottingham’s Talbot Street more than 50 years ago, is poised to open a new start-of-the-art factory in Sri Lanka to support its presence in Asia.
The Wilkins Group bought the overseas land two years ago and started work on the two acre site last year. It is set to officially open the new facility, which has cost $3m (£1.9m) on 23 October 2015.
Its subsidiary in the country, Wilkins Spence Packaging Lanka (Pvt), will produce products from the 40,000 sq ft Mawaramandiya base. It will supply Sri Lankan customers, as well as export to other Asian countries.
The group has been developing its operation in Sri Lanka over the past 15 years. In the last decade, it has also set up manufacturing hubs in Eastern Europe, Bangladesh, India and China.
“Having emerged from a three decade long conflict, Sri Lanka is now experiencing a massive resurgence in economic activity on all fronts,” said André Wilkins, chairman and managing director of the Wilkins Group.
“As major infrastructure projects are put into place, the country is posed to welcome new investors to take economic activity to the next level. This building will house state of the art machinery to produce innovative retail-packaging solutions.”
Wilkins said the factory is part of its commitment to bringing “progression” to Sri Lanka and its other offshore sites. The packaging produced will be quality controlled with support from a UK-based team.
Sales and marketing director Justin Wilkins added: “The factory will be geared up for the highly reactive apparel industry and will produce swing tickets, labels, collar cards, men’s boxer short packs, staggered packs and boxes for bras plus many other packaging products.
“The future is very exciting for The Wilkins Group. Initially the future will be about consolidating and growing the various business units of the group but it won’t be too long before we are investing further and diversifying to offer even more additional services to customers.”
Wilkins Group was set up by graphic designer Ken Wilkins in 1963.