Plans have been revealed for a massive new “Henry Vacuum” factory in Somerset.

British manufacturer Numatic, the firm that manufactures Henry Vacuums, currently employs 1,100 people in Chard, Somerset and due to increased demand is hoping to expand into a brand new factory in the town.

Numatic International Ltd was founded in 1969 in Crewkerne, where it produced its first commercial vacuum cleaner design for cleaning coal, oil and gas fired boilers.

At the beginning, the company employed six people in a little factory that was not as big as a garage and according to information on the company website the most sophisticated equipment was a drill.

The first vacuum cleaner designs were made of a combination of oil drums and everyday components that were readily available, such as suitcase handles, furniture castors and domestic washing-up bowls. All assembled in such a way as to provide a simple, reliable workhorse for commercial and industrial use.

As the company grew it moved to Yeovil and Beaminster before settling on its current site in Somerset in 1990.

Whilst in Beaminster Numatic’s famous ‘Henry’ vacuum was born – a product known throughout the world; with sales increasing year by year from its inception in 1981.

The company now operates internationally selling its products all over the world with subsidiaries in South Africa, France, Germany and Switzerland.

Numatic’s enormous new 23,820sqm factory is to be the size of two football pitches and will be specifically designed for the manufacture of the popular Henry Vacuum cleaners.

A planning application recently submitted to South Somerset District Council is seeking permission to construct the huge new site.

Planning documents for the proposed Numatic factory read:

“Due to increased demand and evolving production methods the company needs to expand its commercial operations and is seeking to invest in new purpose-built production facilities for its flagship product the ‘Henry Vacuum’. The proposal has therefore been designed for this specific purpose.

“The applicant is redeveloping the land themselves to enable a new purpose-built production facility. Currently these production facilities are on the existing site to the north spread across several buildings, however as demand increases, this has led to logistical and capacity issues.

“This proposal is seeking to consolidate and expand upon their existing capacity and the vacated buildings can therefore be repurposed for other products.”

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