THE boss of Christchurch-based company REIDsteel says a move to a new “state-of-the-art” facility could instantly boost productivity by 100 per cent.

Speaking about the firm’s plans at a recent public exhibition, manging director Simon Boyd said REIDsteel had outgrown its current location and a relocation to larger premises was essential.

Proposals will soon be submitted to Christchurch council for a housing development on its Reid Street site. Capital from the sale will fund the company’s new facility, at an industrial location in Christchurch yet to be revealed.

“The new site will be bigger and more efficiently shaped. It will give potential for an increase in productivity by 100 per cent immediately. By 2026 that will double again and increase jobs by 50 per cent,” Mr Boyd said.

Commenting on the restrictions of REIDsteel’s existing facility, he said: “We can’t expand anymore on the site and some of the buildings date back to the 1950s.

“The biggest problem we have is productivity – for two years we’ve been looking at that problem because that holds wage growth back and, inevitably, makes you less competitive in the domestic and worldwide markets.”

The move to new premises, he added, would “bring jobs back to the area” and facilitate the firm’s aim to “invest more in young people coming into engineering”.

The proposed housing development would have 220 homes – a combination of houses and blocks of flats.

Ken Parke, planning consultant for REIDSteel, said: “We’re moving a heavy industrial site away from the town centre, which is in desperate need of regeneration. The new site will provide well-designed houses close to town centre facilities so it’s a win-win economically, socially and environmentally as well.

“We started off looking at the redevelopment of a big shed on the site, but it just wasn’t cost effective which is why we’re going for a new state-of-the-art facility to boost production.”

Mr Boyd said the company’s new facility would be modern, efficient and more environmentally-friendly.

The relocation as REIDsteel faces “much stiffer competition from the overseas markets, particularly China”, he added.

REIDsteel was in favour of the UK leaving the European Union and following the vote in 2016, Mr Boyd wrote to all 650 MPs, urging them to secure a ‘clean break’.

“If the government gets Brexit right, which I really hope it does, it’s really important for medium-sized businesses like us that we can have British standards and control over our regulations because we’re competing against the Chinese, Americans, Australians, Indians – and they don’t have to comply with the EU regulations,” he said.

“There’s a need for regulation but uncompetitive regulation damages us in the growing world.”